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No. 19 New Mexico outlasts Boise State in tough overtime test

Jan 16, 2013, 11:44 PM EDT

New Mexico AP

Tony Snell scored 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting to lead No. 19 New Mexico to a gritty road win over Boise State, 79-74, Wednesday night at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.

Leon Rice’s Broncos led by as many as six points with 8:32 remaining in the second half, but the game stayed within four points for much of the final period.

New Mexico fought back with the help of two three-pointers from guard Jamal Fenton to give the Lobos the lead, 54-53, with 6:26 to play in regulation.

On Boise State’s last possession of regulation, Derrick Marks bled the shot clock down to 10 seconds and drove down the left side of the lane, but missed a contested floater. Marks finished with 27 points.

New Mexico got one more shot at it in regulation, but Kendall Williams’ step-back jumper missed and forced overtime.

In overtime, New Mexico pushed the lead to five points with 2:28 remaining, but Boise State cut it back to one possession, 71-69, after three key free throws.

A Hugh Greenwood three-pointer with 0:35 remaining proved to be the dagger, putting New Mexico up by five points.

Boise State did a solid job of containing and neutralizing New Mexico center Alex Kirk, who had 10 points on 1-of-4 shooting from the floor. His effort in the final minutes of regulation and overtime helped him to get to the free throw line, where he hit 8-of-8 shots. He fouled out with 2:09 to play in overtime.

The Broncos’ ability to make Kirk less of a scoring option forced the Lobos away from the basket. New Mexico shot 40.4 percent from the floor and was outrebounded soundly at -8.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_