Cowboys Have Control of Avoiding Play-in Game At MWC

The Cowboys are back in a position to control their own destiny in terms of avoiding the first round of the MWC basketball tournament. With their victory against San Jose State on Saturday they improved to 8-6 in the conference, tied with UNLV and New Mexico for fourth place.

The key for the Cowboys is they have a game remaining against the Lobos – at the Auditorium Arena on Tuesday night.  If the Cowboys avenge their loss earlier this season in Albuquerque they would be a fll game ahead of the Lobos.

That, however, is where the challenge comes in. Of the three regular season games after New Mexico, there is a home game against Air Force on Feb. 28, and there are road games at Boise State and Fresno State are second and third, respectively, in the MWC standings, trailing Nevada.

The Cowboys did beat Boise State in Laramie on Jan. 6, but it wasn’t easy. They pulled out a 79-78 overtime victory, rallying from a 43-27 halftime deficit.

Fresno State handed the Cowboys arguably their worst loss of the season. Not only did they outscore the Cowboys 80-62 on Feb. 2, but they did it at the Auditorium-Arena.

New Mexico, meanwhile, could actually give the Cowboys an assist in light of the fact they will host Fresno State at the Pit in the regular season finale on March 3. Fresno State won the first game betwee the two teams this year, 89-80, at home. If the Cowboys beat New Mexico and the Lobos beat Fresno State the Cowboys would have a chance to finish at least one game ahead of both.

In addition to Fresno, New Mexico finishes up the regular season against UNLV at home on Saturday, and at Colorado States on Feb. 28. The Lobos have wins against both – 85-81 at UNLV and 80-65 against CSU in the Pitt.