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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

New Mexico nearly had to shoot at a rim that was too high at Wyoming

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Cleveland Thomas and Nathan Sobey (USATSI)

As New Mexico players were shooting around before the start of the second half of their overtime victory at Wyoming on Wednesday night, they had a suspicion something wasn't quite right.

The rim they were shooting at seemed too high.

Referee Larry Spaulding ordered that the rim be measured at the Lobos request and found that the rim was three inches above regulation height, New Mexico assistant athletic director for communications Frank Mercogliano said late Thursday night. Wyoming sports information tweeted that the rim was only one inch too high.

Regardless, the rim was lowered back to its proper height in time for the start of the second half. What wasn't clear immediately after the game was whether Wyoming had shot on a hoop that was too high in the first half or whether someone altered the height of the rim at halftime since that was the side at which the visiting Lobos would be shooting.

New Mexico coach Craig Neal declined to comment on the matter to the Albuquerque Journal after the game. Asked if the Mountain West intended to look into the matter, league spokeswoman Kim Melcher responded via email Thursday afternoon, "The Mountain West office was made aware of the problem with the rim. We have been in communication with administrators at both institutions, and consider the matter closed."

If Wyoming shot on a rim that was too high in the first half, you'd never know it from the Cowboys' shooting percentage. They sank 13 of 25 shots, becoming only the third team to make more than 50 percent of their shots in the first half against New Mexico this season.

New Mexico survived the torrid shooting from the Cowboys thanks to double-digit scoring nights from big men Cameron Bairstow (15 points) and Alex Kirk (12 points) and some unexpected contributions from their lesser-known wings. Cleveland Thomas came off the bench for 12 points and six rebounds and Deshawn Delaney contributed eight points on just four shots.

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