Albuquerque, NM (SportsNetwork.com) - Cameron Bairstow scored 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as he helped to guide the New Mexico Lobos to a 66-61 overtime victory against the Wyoming Cowboys in Mountain West Conference action in The Pit.
Also recording a double-double for the Lobos (18-4, 9-1 MWC) was Alex Kirk with 15 points and 10 boards, followed by Kendall Williams with 13 points, shooting 9-of-12 at the free-throw line but just 2-of-13 from the floor as the Lobos ran their win streak to six in a row.
The Cowboys (14-8, 5-4) were led by Riley Grabau who tallied 12 points before fouling out. Larry Nance Jr, Charles Hankerson and Nathan Sobey all dropped in 10 points as well for a Wyoming squad which has lost for the second time in the last three outings.
With 6.9 seconds left in the first half, Williams stepped to the free-throw line and knocked down a pair for the hosts as New Mexico carried a 28-27 advantage into intermission. Of his six points in the period, Williams scored four at the charity stripe.
The first half featured four ties and 13 lead changes between the squads, with 32 of their 55 combined points coming in the paint. UNM converted just one of six tries behind the 3-point line, but outscored the visitors by a 7-4 margin at the free-throw line in the period.
Both teams had some late runs down the stretch in regulation, but the game came down to a final possession for the Cowboys with the score knotted at 57-57. The visitors worked the clock down to about three seconds before Nance attempted an awkward jumper in the lane that bounced off the back of the rim, sending the meeting into overtime.
The largest lead of the night for either side came in the final seconds of overtime as Williams knocked down his third of four chances at the charity stripe in the extra session, en route to the five-point home win.
In addition to dominating on the glass, 43-22, coming up with 16 boards at the offensive end alone, the Lobos also outscored the visitors at the charity stripe by a 19-6 margin in order to overcome a dismal 1-of-10 showing on the perimeter.
The first meeting of the season between these teams also went to overtime in Laramie last month, with the Lobos claiming that decision by a 72-69 score.
The Cowboys, who have not won in The Pit since 2003, played without Josh Adams (12.1 ppg, 2.9 apg) who was suspended due to a technical foul last Saturday against the Aggies.