New Mexico 79, Boise State 74 (OT)

The SportsXchange

BOISE, Idaho - No. 19 New Mexico overcame a deficit in the final minute of regulation and held off Boise State in overtime Wednesday night at Taco Bell Arena for a 79-74 win.

The Lobos improved to 16-2 overall and 3-0 in the Mountain West. The Broncos, who had won seven straight, dropped to 13-3, 1-1.

Neither team scored in the final 55 seconds of regulation to push the game into overtime, but the Lobos took the lead for good on two free throws by Alex Kirk 40 seconds into the extra period.

New Mexico increased its lead to five points, but Boise State reduced the deficit to two points with 1:31 to go before Hugh Greenwood hit a three-pointer with 35 seconds left to make it a five-point game.

Tony Snell finished with 22 points for the Lobos, while Derrick Marks had 27 for Boise State.

Boise State scored the first four points during a sloppy start to the second half to take a 41-37 lead. New Mexico quickly answered - preventing the Broncos from pulling away.

At one point, New Mexico senior guard Chad Adams slapped his hands on the floor while waiting for Boise State to bring the ball up the court and shouted, "Let's go." He then stole the ball and led a fast break that tied the score at 45-all with 11:56 to play.

The Broncos moved in front 49-46 with 8:55 left as the Lobos went ice cold from the field. On one possession, two Lobos combined to miss three straight layups or tips. Meanwhile, little-used Boise State center Jake Ness made two free throws and junior forward Ryan Watkins scored underneath the basket.

Marks extended the lead to 52-46 on a banked-in 3-pointer as the shot clock expired.

New Mexico overcame that deficit thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by senior guard Jamal Fenton, which gave the Lobos a 54-53 edge with 6:23 left. Boise State answered with a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Anthony Drmic off a rebound by sophomore guard Igor Hadziomerovic and

a layup by Drmic off a nifty pass from Hadziomerovic. That made it 58-54 with 5:30 to play.

New Mexico took a 59-58 lead on a 3-pointer by Snell.

Marks took over for Boise State, hitting a floater for the lead and, after a New Mexico bucket, swishing a 3-pointer to make it 63-61 Broncos.

Sophomore guard Hugh Greenwood took advantage of a Boise State defensive breakdown for a layup with 55 seconds left to tie it.

The Broncos decided to run the clock on the ensuing possession but several players seemed to forget where they were. Marks was shouting as the shot clock rolled inside 10 seconds and nobody responded. He finally tried to drive and missed a pull-up jumper.

New Mexico didn't do much better with its possession. Junior guard Kendall Williams dribbled out the clock and clanged a pull-up jumper off the left side of the rim as time expired to force overtime.

It was a cold-shooting start to the game.

The Lobos, despite some good looks, opened 1-for-6 from the field. The Broncos began 3-for-8 with some uncharacteristic misses near the hoop.

New Mexico's shooting warmed up after the first media timeout. Snell buried a wide-open 3-pointer and a jumper just inside the arc to give the Lobos a 14-12 lead. Freshman guard Cleveland Thomas added a layup on a busted play, and junior forward Cameron Bairstow scored an easy bucket on a pass from senior guard Jamal Fenton, who was on his knees in a scrum, for an 18-14 lead.

Boise State drew even at 18-all -- turning the momentum when Fenton missed both free throws after a controversial intentional-foul call. The Lobos also failed to score on the ensuing possession.

The Broncos produced a 12-point surge to take a 32-23 lead with 4:07 left in the half. The Lobos clawed all the way back by halftime, forcing a 37-all tie as the Broncos rested some of their starters in the closing minutes. Fenton's 3-pointer and junior guard Kendall Williams' three-point play keyed the 14-5 run.

Marks scored 13 first-half points for the Broncos. Snell had 12 before the break.

NOTES: Boise State drew a home crowd in excess of 10,000 for the second time this season -- a first since 1998-99. ... Broncos backup center Kenny Buckner served the second game of a three-game suspension. Three other players, including leading scorer Marks, returned from one-game suspensions. ... The Lobos were 3-1 on the road going into Wednesday's game.
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