LARAMIE, Wyo. — The “way” in Laramie wasn’t exactly smooth or easy, and took an extra five minutes to find. But the University of New Mexico Lobo men’s basketball team did find a ‘way.’
The Lobos beat the Wyoming Cowboys 72-69 Wednesday night in Laramie, needing overtime to do it.
The Lobos managed it with some timely 3-pointers, some timely free throws by Cleveland Thomas and a few huge defensive plays.
Maybe the biggest defensive play of the game came with less than 16 seconds left, when Wyoming’s Riley Grabau was flashing unattended to the UNM rim looking at a layup that would have pushed Wyoming into a 71-70 lead.
Instead, Grabau found a 7-foot-wall in the form of Alex Kirk. Kirk came over from the weak side and slapped away Grabau’s potential go-ahead shot.
Thomas, who earlier had banged in a huge trey, pounced on the loose ball and was fouled. He knocked down both free throws to push UNM up 72-69.
UNM had to survive another Grabau 3-point attempt, but it fell short.
The Lobos gobbled up the rebound and gobbled up its second Mountain West win, an important road.