<
>

New Mexico 87, Wyoming 75

2/10/2004

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The Wyoming Cowboys had a month to get
ready for their rematch with New Mexico forward Danny Granger.
Apparently it wasn't enough time.

For the second time this season Granger scored 30 points against
Wyoming's defense and that, coupled with the Lobos' near flawless
performance at the free throw line, gave New Mexico an 87-75 win
Monday night.

Granger hit 9 of 13 shots, and 11 of 13 free throws. New Mexico
(13-8, 4-4 MWC) hit 29 of 31 free throws.

Wyoming (9-12, 2-6) was led by Jay Straight with 19 points and
David Rottinghaus with 11.

Granger, who also had 30 points against Wyoming in an 82-77 win
by the Cowboys in Laramie on Jan. 12, was knocked out of the game
with 43 seconds left after taking a shot to the chin while trying
to block a shot by Wyoming forward Joe Ries.

A groggy Granger lay on the court for several minutes. He tried
twice to get to his feet but couldn't keep his balance and two of
his teammates finally had to help him off the floor.

"I was dizzy, really dizzy," Granger said after the game.
"(The doctor) said I had a concussion."

Granger, the leading scorer in Mountain West Conference play,
has consistently been double-teamed by opponents, but the Cowboys
tried to use just one defender on the 6-foot-8 forward.

"Our philosophy has always been with a guy like Granger, if you
worry so much about him, it will give other guys baskets and we
didn't want to do that," Wyoming coach Steve McClain said. "He
scored 30 points at our place and we won, so we were content to let
him have his."

The difference, McClain said, were two other Lobos -- David
Chiotti and Alfred Neale -- who scored 20 and 17 points
respectively.

"If they don't step up," said McClain, "we have a chance to
win the game."

New Mexico hit six of its eight 3-pointers in the first half and
when Wyoming tried to shut down the Lobos' perimeter shooting, New
Mexico went inside to the quick-footed Granger.

"They weren't attacking us inside, so we attacked them," said
Granger.

New Mexico went up 14-0 as Wyoming failed to score on its first
10 possessions. The Cowboys missed several shots in that stretch
and had seven turnovers before Mikel Watson hit a 3-pointer with
13:19 left in the first half.

"That's not a good way to start a game," McClain said. "If we
hadn't been down by 14, the game probably would have come out
different. We just didn't have any energy."

Wyoming, which finished with a season-high 11 3-pointers,
steadily chipped away at the deficit by hitting eight 3s in the
first half. The Cowboys hit their last five shots from behind the
arc in the first half, but New Mexico still managed a 40-30
halftime lead.

A field goal by Straight with 16:28 left got Wyoming within
44-41, but that was a close as Wyoming would come.

New Mexico point guard Javin Tindall hit a 3-pointer and after
Rottinghaus was called for a charge, Neale hit a 3-pointer. The two
3s kicked off a 15-3 run by New Mexico that made it 59-44 with
12:44 left.

Wyoming cut the deficit to 61-54 with a 10-2 run that included
seven points by Omoniyi Makun and a 3-pointer by Watson, but New
Mexico stayed in front with its free throw shooting.

The Cowboys lost for the eighth time in their last 10 games.