Jackson, New Mexico beat Wyoming in Mountain West tourney

Jackson, New Mexico beat Wyoming in Mountain West tourney
New Mexico's Caleb Martin dunks during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Wyoming in the Mountain West Conference men's tournament Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Vance Jackson scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half to help New Mexico overcome a 13-point deficit and beat Wyoming 78-68 on Wednesday in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

Jackson was 8-of-15 shooting and finished with eight rebounds, five assists and a career-best four steals.

The No. 7 seed Lobos (14-17), who lost 88-81 to Wyoming in the regular-season finale last Saturday, will play second-seeded Utah State in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

The 10th-seeded Cowboys (8-24) led by as many as 16 points in the first half and had a 47-34 lead about five minutes into the second. New Mexico’s Carlton Bragg made a layup before Jackson hit a 3, converted a 3-point play, added a layup and then made another 3-pointer to give the Lobos their first lead at 49-47 with 9:47 to go. Justin James tied it with a layup on the other end but Vladimir Pinchuk answered with a 3-point play and New Mexico led the rest of the way.

Jordan Naughton’s dunk with 3:24 remaining pulled Wyoming within a point but New Mexico used an 8-0 run, including back-to-back dunks by Makuach Maluach, to make it 70-61 about two minutes later.

James led the Cowboys with 31 points, including four 3-pointers.