Broncos reverse trend, win close one over New Mexico
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Derrick Marks hit two free throws with 13.4 seconds left to lift Boise State to a 71-70 victory over New Mexico Wednesday.
Anthony Drmic scored 18 points and Thomas Bropleh scored all of his 14 in the second half for the Broncos (16-9, 6-6 Mountain West). Ryan Watkins added 12 points and Marks had 11.
Kendall Williams scored 22 points and Cameron Bairstow added 20 for the Lobos (18-5, 9-2), who missed an opportunity to tie San Diego State for the conference lead. Hugh Greenwood missed a potential winning 17-foot shot with three seconds remaining and Alex Kirk was unable to convert a tip as New Mexico had a six-game winning streak halted.
Williams swished a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to give the Lobos a 70-69 lead. Marks was fouled on Boise State's ensuing possession and made the decisive free throws to cap a comeback from a 12-point deficit.
New Mexico appeared to be on its way into moving into a share of the conference lead when it led 42-30 late in the first half. But Boise State scored the final five points of the half and wrestled momentum away the Lobos when Bropleh began knocking down long-range attempts early in the second half.
Bropleh scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers, during a stretch of 4:43 in which the Broncos pulled within 54-50 with 12:35 to play. His fourth 3-pointer of the half was a bank that narrowly beat the shot-clock buzzer and trimmed New Mexico's lead to 60-59 with 8:10 to play.
Watkins followed with a short jumper a little more than a minute later to give Boise State its first lead since the opening minutes. The game swung back-and-forth the rest of the way and the Broncos took a 69-67 lead on two free throws by Watkins with 41 seconds remaining en route to halting a three-game losing streak.
Alex Kirk added 13 points and nine rebounds for New Mexico, which lost for just the second time in 13 games. The Lobos shot 51.2 percent and committed only four turnovers but were outrebounded 35-23 and allowed the Broncos to corral 12 offensive boards.
New Mexico trailed just once in the first half at 12-11 after a 3-pointer by Marks with 13:43 remaining gave Boise State a brief lead. The Lobos took an eight-point edge on Bairstow's basket five minutes later and increased their advantage to 12 on a free throw by Williams with 1:24 left in the half before Boise State scored the final five points of the half.
Bairstow had 14 first-half points to become the 31st player in New Mexico history to reach 1,000 career points. His total stands at 1,009.
The Lobos stand a game behind San Diego State but have yet to face the Aztecs this season. The teams meet in Albuquerque on Feb. 22 and close out the regular season in San Diego on March 8.