Aggies Lose Lead Late; Fall 81-78 At Boise State

The New Mexico State men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker against Boise State on New Year's Eve falling 81-78. The Aggies shot 69.6 percent from the field in the first half hitting 8-of-12 three point shots including a halfcourt buzzer beater by Troy Gillenwater but held just a six point lead over the Broncos at the break.

The Aggies would maintain a slim margin throughout the second half but the Broncos would take their first lead of the game at 68-67 with 4:09 left to play as Robert Arnold hit a three pointer. After an Aggie turnover on their ensuing possession, the Broncos would turn the ball over under their basket with Hernst Laroche coming away with the steal, however, Boise State's La'Shard Anderson would appear to knock over Laroche creating a turnover which he would take in for a layup to give the Broncos a 70-67 lead with 3:17 left to play in the game. Laroche would answer with a three pointer to tie the game at 70 with 2:47 left. Boise State would retake the lead as Anderson would hit a jumper with 2:17 left in the game but Hamidu Rahman would knot the score at 72 with a short jumper in front of the rim with 1:55 left to play.

Troy Gillenwater would be stripped going up for a jump shot and foul Boise State's Paul Noonan who would hit a pair of free throws to give the Broncos a 74-72 lead with 1:02 left to play. On the ensuing inbounds play, the Broncos would trap Christian Kabongo near the sideline and he would step out of bounds giving the ball back to the Broncos. Daequon Montreal would hit a short jumper and get fouled with 57 seconds left. Montreal converted the three point play giving the Broncos a 77-72 lead which the Aggies would not be able to overcome in the final minute of play.

The Aggies jumped out to an 11-4 lead to start the game and went up 18-9 after a 16 foot jumper from Troy Gillenwater with 11:49 left in the first half. The Broncos would pull to within one point at 23-22 with 6:23 as Hamidu Rahman would foul Boise State's Ryan Watkins. The Aggies would be called for goaltending on the shot and Watkins would convert the three point play. The Aggies would get a three pointer from Gordo Castillo to go up 26-22 but back-to-back buckets from Tre Nichols would tie the game at 26. The teams would trade three consecutive three pointers as Castillo would bury a three followed by a three pointer from Daequon an a three pointer from Troy Gillenwater to put the Aggies up 32-29. The Aggies would hit two more three pointers to forge ahead 38-30 and after a Bandja Sy fast break dunk, the Aggies would lead the Broncos 40-30. The Broncos would close to within three after a 5-0 run in the final minute but a halfcourt buzzer beater by Gillenwater would send the Aggies into halftime up 45-39.

Gillenwater would finish with a game-high 24 points followed by Gordo Castillo's 14 points. Bandja Sy added 11, Hernst Laroche scored 10 points, all in the second half, Tshilidzi Nephawe added seven points, Hamidu Rahman scored six, Tyrone Watson added four and Christian Kabongo hit a free throw for his lone points.

The Broncos were led by Montreal's 21 points followed by 17 from La'Shard Anderson, 13 from Paul Noonan, 13 from Robert Arnold, nine from Tre Nichols and eight from Ryan Watkins.

The Aggies fall to 7-9 overall and 1-1 in WAC play and return home to face Fresno State on January 8th.