Wyoming coach Joby Wright was upset enough after his team's 77-71 loss Saturday to New Mexico to make an oath to Cowboy fans.
"I make a promise to the people of Wyoming. I'm going to bring in quality people. I'm going to get this straightened out," the first-year coach said.Wright's comment comes after Wyoming blew a 14-point second-half lead and watched New Mexico grab a 77-71 victory in Laramie.
"I'm pretty keyed up here because you're not supposed to lose a game like that," Wright said. "When you have an opponent down, you've got to learn how to finish them off. You've got to learn how to be mentally tough enough to make the plays you got to make."
"I'm down but I'm going to get up and I'm going to get these guys up and I'm going to get the people who want to win."
Wright also said his team "ran out of gas" and had very little productivity off the bench.
"We've had our moments but we're not winning. I'm not used to this," said Wright, who came to Wyoming after posting a 61-29 record in three years at Miami of Ohio.
New Mexico coach Dave Bliss is used to winning in the Western Athletic Conference and especially used to winning in Laramie. He has won five of his last six games at the Arena-Auditorium.
"For some reason we play really well here in the Double-A. I can't explain it but we do," Bliss said.
Wyoming (9-7, 2-5 Western Athletic Conference) led 57-43 on a David Murray layup with 11:30 left in the game. Then guard Greg Brown started penetrating and opening up the New Mexico offense. New Mexico (14-4, 6-2) ripped off a 19-3 run to lead 64-60 with 5:28 left.
Wyoming tried to stay close but a Lewis LaMar tip-in gave New Mexico a 73-67 lead with about a minute left. The Lobos hit free throws down the stretch to win.
The Lobos took a 28-25 lead in the first half after an 8-1 run. Wyoming countered with a 9-0 run of its own to go in at halftime with a 34-28 lead.
Brown and Canonchet Neves each scored 19 points for the Lobos, while Marlow White added 14 and Charles Smith had 13.
Murray led Wyoming with 18, followed by Queint Higgins with 17 and Theo Ratliff with 14.
Both teams saw little depth from the bench, with the starters combining for 132 of the game's 148 points.
Fresno St. 76, Air Force 64
At Air Force Academy, Colo., Carl Ray Harris scored 18 points to lead a balanced Fresno State offense as the Bulldogs defeated Air Force.
The Falcons extended their winless streak to seven in Western Athletic Conference play.
The Bulldogs (9-7 overall, 4-3 in the WAC) led 33-25 at the half.
Air Force (5-9, 0-7) shot only 36 percent from the field including nine-of-30 in the first half, while the Bulldogs shot 67 percent for the game and 74 percent in the second half.
Other Bulldogs scoring in double figures were Brian Santiago with 16 points and Travis Stel with 14. Lee Mayberry scored nine points and snared 14 rebounds.
Air Force was led by Otis Jones with 26 points and Reggie Minton, who scored a career-high 20 points.