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Strong Second Half Lifts Lobos to 75-66 Victory Over No. 22 Wyoming

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team captured its first ranked win if the season with a 75-66 victory over No. 22 Wyoming on Tuesday night at The Pit. The Lobos (11-14, 3-8) used a strong second half to erase a seven-point deficit and snap the Cowboys’ (21-4, 10-2) six-game win streak.

Jaelen House scored 22 of his game-high 34 points in the second half to post his fourth 30-point game of the season. Jamal Mashburn, Jr. added 18 points and Jay Allen-Tovar had 15 points and eight rebounds for New Mexico.

The win was the Lobos’ first over a ranked opponent since 2019 and now have their first three-game February win streak since 2018.

The Lobos used a strong start to take a 5-0 lead over the first three minutes of the game and led 10-4 after five minutes. A 6-0 Wyoming run tied the game at 10-10 before taking the Cowboys took their first lead at 19-18 at the under 8:00 timeout. The teams traded the lead before Wyoming opened up a 28-23 lead with 2:15 in the half. The Cowboys took a 33-30 lead into halftime as House led the Lobos with 12 first-half points.

In the second half, Wyoming pushed the lead to 39-32 with 17:20 to play. The Lobos used a 6-0 run to retake the lead, 45-43, with 10:45 to play. The teams traded the lead before the Lobos opened a 55-49 lead with 6:40 to go with another 6-0 run. The Lobos led by as many as many as seven in the final five minutes and led 64-59 with 3:55 to play. Back-to-back baskets by the Cowboys cut the lead to 66-63 with 1:40 to play, before a layup by House gave UNM aa 68-63 lead with 1:25 to go. After a Wyoming basket, a 3-pointer from Allen-Tovar made the score 71-65 with 43 seconds left. The Lobos got a pair of stops on the next two Wyoming possessions and House made four free throws to give UNM a 10-point lead with 16 seconds left before closing out the 75-66 win.

• Jamal Mashburn Jr. scored in double figures for the 24th time in 25 games this season
• Jaelen House scored in double figures for the 17th time this season
• House had his seventh 20-point game of the season and fourth 30-point game
• Jay Allen-Tovar scored in double figures for the 10th time this season
• Sebastian Forsling had a career-high three blocks (had never had more than one in a game before)
• New Mexico snapped a 30-game losing streak when trailing at halftime, posting its first win after being behind at the break since Dec. 22, 2019 vs. Houston Baptist

“I am proud of our guys. Wyoming is a terrific team. They are hard to guard. I thought that was the first time where our offense wasn’t awesome and we just found a way to get stops. They are very efficient offensively, and the first half we were terrific defensively and we got rebounds. House made some big shots at the end. Jay Allen-Tovar and KJ Jenkins made huge threes. It was great to see The Pit alive again, so thank you to our awesome fans for coming out tonight.” – Head Coach Richard Pitino

The Lobos conclude their homestand Thursday as they host Colorado State. Game time at The Pit is 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast online on the Mountain West Network. The game was rescheduled from its original date of Dec. 28 and fans should use the tickets and parking passes from that original date.