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Boise State digs early hole, can’t get out and drops one to New Mexico 81-70

The Broncos came out flat in the first half to a 20 point deficit. A better second half helped close the gap, but can’t make up the ground in the loss.

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough loss to Fresno State at the Save Mart Center last Saturday, the Boise State Broncos (11-5 overall, 4-1 MWC) came into tonight’s game looking to tack another game to the win column. Currently the Broncos are tied for first place with the Nevada Wolf Pack, both with 4-1 records in the Mountain West Conference. In order for the Broncos to stay ahead, or at this point just keep pace, with Nevada, they are going to need to secure every win they can. Tonight will be a test for the Broncos.

Meanwhile New Mexico (10-8, 3-3 MWC) is coming off a contentious win at Colorado State. The Lobos are tied with Fresno State for fourth place.

Both teams will be needing tonight’s win order to stay afloat in the conference.

This game opened a lot like the Fresno State loss: Broncos hitting nothing but rim early, and New Mexico unable to miss. The one positive is Justinian Jessup avoiding foul trouble early on (though he did have one within foul within the first two minutes).

The Lobos could not miss early on in the game, getting to a 17-5 lead with 13:38 in the first.

Nick Duncan, who had gone inexplicably cold the past two games, was finally able to break the spell with a well-timed three to get the Broncos to within nine 19-10 Lobos.

The rest of the half mirrored the Fresno State game in a lot of ways. Mainly: Lobos could not miss. The Lobos were 5-7 from beyond the arc, and 19-29 overall shooting. Meanwhile the Broncos 4-13 from beyond three and 10-28. Not exactly the most ideal situation to try and win a game. The Broncos found themselves down, at the half, 49-31 to the Lobos.

First half stats:

The second half started in a more amiable fashion for the Broncos as went on a 11-3 run to start the second. Broncos were shooting 45% vs the Lobo 7%. They closed the gap dramatically 52-44.

The scoring drought would not last too long, of course, for the Lobos as Brown hit a three in response to all the Boise State scoring.

Paris Austin comes alive defensively with an emphatic steal and layup (which he makes) and also draws the foul. This brings the Broncos within four, 64-60 Lobos.

But as runs giveth, they also taketh away. While the Bronco defense had limited the Lobos shooting, it was only a matter of time for New Mexico to find their groove. As quickly as the Broncos came within two (64-62), Harris and Logwood scored in quick succession to extend the lead to six 68-62.

Though the Broncos were able to get it close, they could just not get within two of the Lobos. Getting in a 20 point hole in the first half will do that to you.

James Reid led all Bronco scorers with 16. Two assists and two rebounds.

Chandler Hutchison had 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

The Lobos’ Tim Williams had 19 points, three rebounds, and three steals.

Final stats: