New Mexico 60, Boise State 50By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Feb 16, 2013 11:40 PM EST
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Boise State rallied in the second half to give No. 19 New Mexico all it could handle in front of a sellout crowd of 15,411 at the Pit, but the Lobos held off the Broncos 60-50 on Saturday night. Boise State (16-8, 4-5 Mountain West Conference) used a 5-0 run to pull to 47-46 with 5:05 remaining, but New Mexico responded with an 8-0 run, highlighted by an Alex Kirk dunk, to push the lead to 53-46. Junior forward Cameron Bairstow finished with a team-high 16 points, and guards Tony Snell (12), Kendall Williams (10) and Jamal Fenton -- who didn't score in the first half but finished with 11 points -- all scored in double figures for New Mexico. Boise State converted 42.9 percent of its shots from the field in the second half and played stingy defense, but the Lobos' ability to get to the line 15 times compared with the Broncos' four free-throw attempts proved to be a critical factor. The Lobos overcame 27.3 percent shooting from the field (6 of 22) in the second half and 34.7 percent (17 of 49) for the game. They remained a half-game ahead of Colorado State, which won earlier on the road at Air Force, in the Mountain West standings. Derrick Marks finished with a game-high 15 points and was the only Boise State player in double figures. Williams got the crowd involved after a slow start from both teams with a highlight-reel steal and dunk to pull the Lobos to 8-7 with 14:43 left in the first half. The Lobos took all the momentum from there and, thanks to offensive outbursts from Snell (10), Williams (eight) and Bairstow (nine), went into the break with a 29-23 lead. The trio combined for all of the Lobos' field goals. The other six New Mexico players that saw action pitched in a combined two points -- free throws from Alex Kirk and Nick Banyard. New Mexico shot just 40 percent (11 of 27) from the field in the first half but held Boise State to 37 percent (10 of 27) and forced the Broncos into 10 turnovers that led to eight New Mexico points. Marks had nine points at the half ffor Boise. Jeff Elorriaga attempted five of Boise State's 11 3-point attempts and made one, and Boise's inability to convert from beyond the arc -- making just 2 of 11 (18.2 percent) -- put them in a hole early. While Boise State struggled from the outside, it was also unable to get anything going in the post, where it was outscored 14-8 in the paint.
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