New Mexico St. 77, Ohio 72
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP)—Guard Fred Peete scored 17 points and Hatila Passos had two late dunks as New Mexico State rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat Ohio 77-72 in an ESPN-Bracketbusters game Saturday night.
New Mexico State (20-6) extended its homecourt winning streak to 18 straight with the stirring comeback against the Bobcats (16-10).
Ohio led 47-29 at halftime behind the scoring of Bubba Walther, who had 17 of his 25 points in the opening half.
The Bobcats still led by 17 early in the second half, when the Aggies started going inside. The move worked as Peete and the Aggies’ frontline of the 6-foot-11 Passos and 7-footer Martin Iti wore down Ohio’s defense.
A pair of free throws by Peete with 7:48 left gave the Aggies a 59-58 lead with 7:48 left.
Ohio regrouped and regained the lead. A 3-pointer by Walther with 3:28 left gave the Bobcats a 69-63 lead.
NMSU guard Elijah Ingram hit a 3-pointer and Peete a layup. After Walther, an 83 percent free throw shooter, missed the front end of a one-and-one, Passos scored on a dunk for a 70-69 NMSU lead with 1:18 left.
Walther missed on a shot in the lane and Passos came up with a steal and went in for a two-handed dunk.