Aggies Defeat Broncos 96-87 In Overtime Shootout

Troy GillenwaterThe New Mexico State men's basketball team erased an eight point second half deficit to force overtime where they outscored Boise State 23-14 to win 96-87 and move into a four-way tie for second place in the WAC.

The Aggies were led by a game-high 34 points from Troy Gillenwater who finished 12-of-20 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. The Aggies struggled from the free throw line in regulation hitting just 21-of-34 attempts but were a perfect 13-of-13 in the five minute overtime period.

The entire game was hotly contested asa the Aggies jumped out to an early 12-6 lead before the Broncos would go on a 13-7 run to tie the game at 19. Boise State would take their first lead of the game on a three pointer from Paul Noonan with 9:27 left to play in the half but the lead would be short-lived as Hernst Laroche would answer with a jumper to tie the game at 22. Boise State would go up by three but the Aggies would answer with a 6-0 run to take a 28-25 lead. Boise State would again find themselves in the lead after a layup from La'Shard Anderson and they would extend their lead to five points on a layup from Sean Imadiyi with 4:19 left in the half. The Aggies would cut the lead to one on a layup from Tyrone Watson but Boise State would again forge ahead by five after a layup from Ryan Watkins. Tryone Watson would hit a free throw with under four seconds left in the half to cut the Broncos' lead to four at 40-36. Boise State's Tre Nichols would hit a shot as time expired and appeared to give Boise State a six point halftime lead but the officials would rule the shot did not beat the buzzer.

The Broncos would build an eight point lead five minutes into the second half after a layup from Robert Arnold but the Aggies would go on a 9-2 run to cut the Bronco lead to one at 54-53 with 11:08 left in regulation. The Aggies would take their first lead of the second half on a layup by Tshilidzi Nephawe with 9:33 left to play and the Aggies would lead by three, 64-61 after a pair of free throws from Renaldo Dixon with 6:51 left in regulation. The Broncos would retake the lead after going on a 4-0 run spurred by four free throws and would maintain a one-point advantage with 2:49 left on a jumper by La'Shard Anderson.

The Aggies would trail by two with 2:23 left after a Ryan Watkins layup but Gordo Castillo would hit a jumper to tie the game at 71 with 1:50 remaining in the game. After Tyrone Watson hit one of two free throws to give the Aggies a one-point edge, La'Shard Anderson would miss a layup forcing Paul Noonan to foul Tyrone Watson. With 45 seconds remaining in the game, Watson would hit one of two free throws to give the Aggies a two point advantage at 73-71. La'Shard Anderson would get a layup with 27 seconds left to tie the game at 73. Hernst Laroche would miss a jumper with four seconds left and La'Shard Anderson's desperation heave at the buzzer came up well short and the game would head to overtime.

The overtime period belonged to New Mexico State as they break the seal with a layup by Troy Gillenwater. The Aggies would maintain a two point advantage after a three point play by Gillenwater and would extend their lead to six, 86-80, with 1:57 left after Four straight free throws by Hernst Laroche. The Broncos would go cold from the floor hitting just 4-of-11 shot attempts while the Aggies would hit 5-of-5 from the field and 13-of-13 from the free throw line to seal the 96-87 victory.

Three Aggies finished in double-figures as Hernst Laroche added 24 including hitting 14-of-15 free throw attempts while Tyrone Watson had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

La'Shard Anderson scored 21 fo the Broncos while Tre Nichols added 18 and Daequon Montreal scored 15.

The Aggies improve to 5-3 in conference play and host Idaho on Saturday night.