New Mexico St. 78, Boise St. 68
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP)—Tyrone Nelson and Justin Hawkins accounted for most of New Mexico State’s early points and the Aggies held off a late second-half surge by Boise State to beat the Broncos 78-68 Wednesday night in the Western Athletic Conference.
Hawkins and Nelson combined for 13 points in the first six minutes of the game as New Mexico State (18-4, 8-1) built a 17-2 lead. Nelson finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Hawkins added 18 points.
Reggie Larry and Coby Karl each scored 14 for the Broncos (11-9, 5-4).
Boise State cut the lead to 67-62 on a reverse Matt Nelson layup with 2:26 to play. Moments later Anthony Thomas and Coby Karl combined for three free throws to get Boise State within two.
But on the ensuing possession Nelson scored under the basket and was fouled. He would hit the bonus free throw to give the Aggies a 70-65 lead.
With the Aggies leading 72-68, Karl had the chance to make it a single possession game but missed one of two free throws with 33 seconds left.
The Broncos left Hawkins open on the inbound play, and he was uncontested as he made the basket that sealed the win.
With the win, the Aggies stayed atop the conference standings. No. 15 Nevada, which is also 8-1 in the conference, beat Louisiana Tech 79-71 Wednesday night.
New Mexico State beat Nevada 80-73 on Jan. 20.