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New Mexico 59, Wyoming 46

The SportsXchange

LAS VEGAS -- Junior guard Tony Snell scored a game-high 15 points to lead No. 15 New Mexico to a 59-46 victory over Wyoming Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament.

The Lobos (27-5), the defending Mountain West tournament champions, will play the winner of Wednesday night's final quarterfinal contest between Boise State and San Diego State in Friday night's semifinals.

Forward Cameron Bairstow finished with 14 points and had a game-high eight rebounds for New Mexico, which won despite going more than 12 minutes without a field goal during one stretch from late in the first half until the 9:37 mark of the second half.

Forward Larry Nance Jr. and guard Derrious Gilmore each scored 14 points and Josh Adams added 12 for Wyoming (19-13), which lost its sixth straight to New Mexico and has dropped nine of the last 11 meetings with the Lobos.

Wyoming, which led the Mountain West in scoring defense (57.6), held New Mexico to just one field goal in the first 14:14 after halftime and trailed by six points, 48-42, after an Adams jumper with 7:46 to go.

But senior forward Leonard Washington, a third team all-Mountain West pick who ranked fourth in the conference in rebounding and led the Cowboys in scoring, fouled out right after Adams' jumper. New Mexico then went on a 11-2 run to put the game away.

Washington finished with six points, only the eighth time in 30 games this season he didn't reach double figures.

Snell, a third team all-Mountain West pick, who scored only 15 points combined in the first two meetings with Wyoming, had 11 points in the first nine minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers, as New Mexico bolted out to a 25-15 lead.

No. 8 seed Wyoming, which set a Mountain West tournament record for a first round game with 18 assists in Tuesday night's 85-81 play-in game win over No. 9 seed Nevada, rallied to cut the deficit to 29-23 on a 3-pointer by Adams with 3:15 remaining.

But the Lobos closed out the half on a 5-1 run highlighted by a 3-pointer by guard Jamal Fenton to go into the locker room leading by double figures, 34-24, at halftime.

NOTES: New Mexico guard Kendall Williams, named the conference's player of the year on Monday, finished with just six points on 1 of 4 shooting. ... New Mexico entered the tournament as the top seed for only the second time in the league's 14-year history. ... The Mountain West regular-season champion has made it to the tournament finals nine times in the last 13 years. The Lobos, San Diego State and UNLV are the only three current league members to have earned a Mountain West regular-season title and tournament crown in the same year. New Mexico did it in 2012.
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