In a conference game that meant a lot to the Broncos in terms of a regular season title, tournament seeding, and any sort of outside chance (however minuscule) of landing an NCAA Tournament at-large berth, Boise State needed to show its mettle and escape The Pit with a win. Though New Mexico has been somewhat down this year (dropping a double-digit lead to Nevada, losing to San Jose State at home) they have been proven to be the Broncos’ foil. Unfortunately tonight provided another chapter in that book as the Broncos fall to the New Mexico Lobos 78-73.
The game would be a rough one for the Broncos to match with New Mexico proving its athletic ability early and often. 7’ 1” Obij Aget had five blocks for the Lobos and Elijah Brown tossed in an extra for flavor. The Broncos recorded no blocks throughout the evening.
The Broncos had gone into the half down ten, 35-25. Boise State had gone almost seven full minutes of game time without scoring a bucket. As the second half rolled around, the Broncos did find their spark, when down 53-38, Boise State hit a 15-4 run that actually closed their gap to 57-53.
Not to be outdone, the Lobos stopped their bleeding and went on their own 10-4 run that had extended their lead to twelve, 69-57
The game did start to get a bit chippy. Elijah Brown had elbowed James Reid hard enough to warrant a Flagrant 1 foul. Was debatable that a Flagrant 2 could have been assessed. As for foul troubles for the teams, the Broncos had 23 fouls, while New Mexico only had 17. Boise State did not even get an appearance at the charity stripe until Chandler Hutchison got fouled at the 1:25 mark in the first half.
Chandler Hutchison was the usual bright spot for the Broncos as he recorded 31 points and 6 rebounds. James Reid assumed the role as three-point shooter going 4-12 behind the arc. Reid had 18 points and a couple of rebounds.
The usually jovial three-point shooter, Nick Duncan, was uncharacteristically timid in his shots. Though Duncan contributed four rebounds and three assists (that would lead the Broncos by the way) he only took three shots behind the arc. Missed all three. He would end the night with no points and still in his slump.
A lot of things had to go the Broncos’ way in order to steal this game away from the Lobos. Unfortunately foul trouble, weak shooting, and a late rally that was eventually countered doomed the Broncos as they fall to 9-4 in Mountain West Conference play.