New Mexico hopes to add a regular-season Mountain West title to its impressive resume when the No. 14 Lobos host Wyoming on Saturday. The Lobos can guarantee at least a share of the title with a win at The Pit, where they are 13-1 this season. The Cowboys, who have lost three straight, haven't won at New Mexico since 2003.
Wyoming's conference-leading defense has struggled during the losing skid. The Lobos, meanwhile, have won four straight and seven of eight and are starting to be included in the discussion for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. New Mexico has the country's third-toughest schedule and second-best RPI. "If you start looking at resumes and you take names off it, we'd match our resume against just about anybody," Lobos coach Steve Alford told the Albuquerque Journal.
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ABOUT WYOMING (18-10, 4-10 MWC): The Cowboys lead the conference and are ranked 11th nationally in points allowed (57.1) but have permitted two of their last three opponents to score more than 70 points while all three shot better than 50 percent. Senior forward Leonard Washington (13.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks) missed two games with an ankle injury before recording 15 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to Air Force on Tuesday. It was his fourth straight double-double and 11th of the season. Senior guard Derrious Gilmore adds 12 points for the Cowboys, who have six road victories this season.
ABOUT NEW MEXICO (24-4, 11-2): Junior guard Kendall Williams leads three Lobos in double figures at 14.1 points and is second in the Mountain West with 4.7 assists. Alex Kirk, a 7-0 sophomore, hit three 3-pointers on the way to a season-high 25 points against San Diego State on Wednesday and is averaging 15.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in his last six games. Cameron Bairstow, a 6-9 junior forward, is averaging 11.9 points during his eight straight starts. Junior guard Demetrius Walker hasn't played since hurting his left knee on Feb. 13 but was dressed against San Diego State.
1. Wyoming has two wins against ranked opponents (Colorado, San Diego State). The Cowboys have never beaten three ranked teams in one season.
2. New Mexico seniors Jamal Fenton and Chad Adams have 104 career wins, the most in school history.
3. The Lobos have won 21 straight games - and are 42-2 since 2010-11 - when shooting 40 percent or better from the field.
PREDICTION: New Mexico 69, Wyoming 56