New Mexico Holds On in Thriller to Earn Its First Conference Win Over Boise State, 80-78
Lyle shines again in conference opener, Jessup finds his rhythm once again
Lobos come out on top in a back and forth affair.
No one told New Mexico and Boise State that it was only December 4th.
In a physical December game that looked more like a conference game in late February, New Mexico (8-2, 1-0 Mountain West) and Boise State (4-3, 0-1 Mountain West) battled.
It was the high-percentage points in the paint for the Lobos against the Broncos hot three-point shooting. It was JaQuan Lyle (31 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) against Justinian Jessup (24 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block).
The earlier-than-usual conference match-up between New Mexico and Boise State at Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit in Albuquerque featured 14 lead changes, two contrasting-but-effective offensive styles, and plenty of emotion.
With just over five minutes of play remaining, RJ Williams (2 points, 3 rebounds) was ejected from the game after securing his fifth and sixth fouls – the result a heated exchange between he and Carlton Bragg (17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks).
New Mexico took the lead with the made free-throws, 70-68, but Boise State wouldn’t be out of it yet. While Jessup, who had been struggling to find his shooting rhythm out of the gates this year, was the offensive star for the Broncos in the first half, it was the trio of Marcus Dickinson (16 points, 1 rebounds, 3 assists), Derrick Alston (20 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) and Alex Hobbs (14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) that kept the Broncos in the game in the final possessions, combining for Boise State’s last ten points.
Though they had the lead, 78-77, with just 46 seconds remaining, the Broncos ensuing defensive possession was a breakdown, and JJ Caldwell (8 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal) found Bragg for an easy two.
A single free throw make by Zane Martin (4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal) and a solid defensive possession for New Mexico (aided by a little bit of indecisiveness for the Broncos) was enough to ice the game, 80-78.
Notable Team Stats:
- Boise State: shot the lights out from three in the game, draining 14-28 from downtown. It was only the second game the Broncos have shot better than 30% from three on the season. New Mexico was only 21.4% from deep. 19 of their 27 made baskets came off of assists.
- New Mexico: Once again, the New Mexico got to the line, going 19-25 on the night. The Lobos are first nationally in both free throws made and attempted. They also finished the game with a season low 6 turnovers, and assisted on 19 on their 29 made baskets.
New Mexico heads to Laramie, Wyoming to clash in what always seems to be a close one against the Cowboys on Saturday, December 7th.
Boise State will head back to Boise to take on Colorado State (0-1 Mountain West) at ExtraMile Arena.