The score was 47-34, Wyoming leading, with 14:49. Things looked bleak for the New Mexico Lobos basketball team. Carlton Bragg then made a layup to close to 47-36, and then Vance Jackson took over.
During a 15-0 New Mexico run Vance Jackson scored 13 consecutive points to give New Mexico a 49-47 lead. After a Justin James layup tied the game at 49 with 9:20 left, Vladimir Pinchuk converted a three point play to give the Lobos back the lead, which they never relinquished.
Jackson scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half to carry the Lobos to a 78-68 victory in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Makuach Maluach added 13 points for the Lobos, who overcame a 38-22 first half deficit.
Justin James scored 31 points for Wyoming, 20 of which came in the first half that saw Wyoming lead 38-27 at intermission. Jordan Naughton was the only other Cowboy in double figures with 10 points.
New Mexico’s win sets up a match with Utah State on Thursday night. The Aggies enter the contest on a seven-game winning streak, that includes a win over Nevada, and a 71-55 win over New Mexico, and are 14-1 in their last 15 contests. The Aggies also beat the Lobos in Albuquerque back in January that Lobo fans should remember for the controversial ending.
The Lobos have a small streak of their own going, winning three of their last four games entering Thursday’s tilt.
The Lobos and Aggies will square off at the Thomas & Mack tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Mountain, and the game will be broadcast on TV on CBS Sports Network.