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Cowboys continue push for first-round bye

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

With a 78-68 victory against Fresno State, Wyoming now has more conference wins than they have the last two seasons. Allen Edwards and the Cowboys are pushing for the best tournament seed in the same time frame.

Last Tuesday, the Cowboys lost to New Mexico in the highest scoring game in Arena-Auditorium history: 119-114.

Both teams shot the lights out of the stadium. New Mexico hit 61.7% of their shots (48.1% from three), while Wyoming connected on 57.8% (56.5% from deep).

The game, if you can believe it, could’ve seen a lot more scoring if not for an eight minute stretch where Wyoming’s basket had a lid on it.

New Mexico got its biggest performances from two guys who didn’t see the court the last time these two squared off. Troy Simon and Sam Logwood led the way with 24 points each. Logwood completely dominated under the rim, making 11 of his 12 baskets from two.

Makuach Maluach also continued his hot streak, dropping 20 points for the second time in three games.

Wyoming played most of the game without Alan Herndon, who was sick. While he did play, he was limited to only seven minutes. Andrew Moemeka took his place in the starting lineup and recorded four points and a rebound.

While Hayden Dalton and Justin James played admirably (21 and 23 points, respectively), Lou Adams was the story of the night.

Adams dropped a career-high 31 points, shooting 11-15 with four rebounds and four assists. He also dropped the hammer on Joe Furstinger, who wanted nothing to do with Lou.

Despite all the heroics and scoring on the Cowboys’ side of the court, New Mexico was able to keep up on the other half. Six Lobos finished the game with double-digit scoring, three of them coming off the bench.

The refs didn’t help either sides cause, calling 64 total fouls, including a technical on Adams and some really head-scratching calls on both teams.

The Cowboys then traveled to Fresno State to rebound from the loss earlier in the week. If they wanted a shot at a higher seed in the tourney and a better shot at a bye, they’d have to win against a red-hot Bulldogs team.

They did.

With Herndon back in the lineup, it’s not hard to see how his defense impacts a game. Granted, there are a lot of variables involved, but when you go from allowing 119 points one game to 68 the next, people tend to notice.

James led all scorers with 26 points, shooting 4-7 from beyond the arc. Dalton wasn’t that far behind with 17 points and nine boards.

Fresno State was led in scoring by Bryson Williams and Jahmel Taylor with both dropping 16 points. Nate Grimes, who balled out of his mind the last time these two played, grabbed ten rebounds off the bench.

The Cowboys used a 25-7 run at the end of the first half to put the Bulldogs away for good.

Wyoming will look to lock up a first round bye this week against Air Force and Boise State.