After winning a highly anticipated showdown at home, BYU had a letdown on the road.
The eighth-ranked Cougars might have better luck as they travel to Wyoming on Wednesday night.
BYU (20-2, 6-1 Mountain West) held then-No. 4 San Diego State to 35.5 percent shooting and Jimmer Fredette scored 43 points in a 71-58 victory Jan. 26. The Cougars seemed to be ready to celebrate another win Saturday when they built a 13-point lead at New Mexico with 14:36 remaining.
The Lobos, though, outscored them 40-17 over the next 12:35 and finished at 50.8 percent shooting in an 86-77 victory.
“We had 30 minutes of the game where we were on top, but the last 10 minutes New Mexico was terrific,” coach Dave Rose said.
Fredette, the nation’s leading scorer (27.6 ppg), had 32 points to lead three players in double figures, while New Mexico had five with at least 11.
“I didn’t think that they played any harder than we did, but you have to give them a lot of credit. They just played better than we did,” forward Brandon Davies said.
BYU has played better than the Cowboys (8-13, 1-6) over the past few seasons, having won all 11 matchups during Rose’s tenure and five in a row in Laramie. The Cougars have claimed the last seven by an average of 15.7 points.
With 22 points, Fredette was among four players in double figures in last season’s 85-63 win at Wyoming, while Desmar Jackson (26 points) and Djibril Thiam (12) were the only two Cowboys players to score more than eight.
Jackson is averaging a team-best 15.4 points and Thiam is second (10.6 ppg), but the Cowboys are the one of Mountain West’s worst offensive teams, averaging 66.0 points on 43.8 percent shooting. The Cougars, meanwhile, are scoring a league-best 84.2 points per game.
Wyoming, losers in 15 of 17 conference games, has fared even worse over a season-high five straight defeats, averaging 56.8 points on 38.1 percent shooting. The Cowboys shot a season-low 29.7 percent in their most lopsided loss of the season, 96-57 at San Diego State on Saturday night.
“It was kind of embarrassing, to say the least,” guard JayDee Luster said.
Jackson had 19 points, but Luster was the only other player in double figures with 10. Thiam finished with eight points, his sixth straight game in single digits after scoring 10 or more in nine consecutive contests.
Fredette, averaging 35.1 points in Mountain West play, has had mixed results in four career starts against the Cowboys.
He had 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the first of those on Jan. 31, 2009, and made 7 of 14 shots in last season’s game in Laramie. In the other two, he averaged 13.0 points on 29.2 percent shooting.
BYU leads the series 103-69.