Aggies Stumble In Semifinals, Fall 81-63 To 2-seed Boise State

The New Mexico State men's basketball team's season came to a close with an 81-63 loss to 2-seed Boise State in the semifinals of the WAC tournament. The Aggies fell behind early 13-4 and could never recover as they suffered their worst defeat in a conference tournament since a 19-point loss to Western Kentucky in the 2003 Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

The Broncos stifled leading scorer Troy Gillenwater throughout the game as he finished with 12 points, 17 below his season average against Boise State. Gillenwater attempted just nine shots on the night.

The Aggies cut the Broncos' early first half lead down to one at 19-18 after a layup from Tyrone Watson with 7:35 left in the first half. Boise State would go on a 5-0 run behind three free throws and a dunk from La'Shard Anderson to extend their lead back to six at 24-18 forcing an Aggie timeout.

The Aggies would fall behind by nine after a Daequon Montreal free throw but a layup from Tyrone Watson would trim the deficit to seven. However, Boise State would push the lead to 10 on a three pointer from Paul Noonan. The Aggies would cut the lead to eight with 1:13 left in the half and the teams would trade baskets inside five seconds to send the Aggies into the break trailing by a score of 34-26.

The Broncos would extend their lead to 11 two minutes into the game on a pair of Ryan Watkins free throws. Christian Kabongo would cut the lead back to nine points with a pair of free throws but Jeff Elorriaga would hit a three pointer to give Boise State their largest lead of the game at 42-30 prompting an Aggie timeout.

The Broncos would continue their run getting a layup from Montreal and a three from Robert Arnold to push their lead to 17 at 47-30. The Aggies would finally break the Broncos' run with a layup from Tyrone Watson.

Boise State would hit threes on three more consecutive possessions to push their lead out to 22 at 56-34 with 14:30 left to play. The Aggies would fall behind by 24 after four consecutive free throws by the Broncos. The Aggies would get back-to-back threes from Troy Gillenwater and Gordo Castillo to cut the deficit to 18 at 60-42 however the Broncos would maintain a 21-point lead with under eight minutes to play.

The Boise State lead would swell back to 24 points and the Aggies would score the final five points of the game to make the final deficit 81-63.

Tyrone Watson led the Aggies with 15 points and five rebounds. Hernst Laroche finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Christian Kabongo added 11 points and eight assists. Playing in his final game in an Aggie uniform, Gordo Castillo struggled finishing with just three points hitting just one of five shots from the field and turning the ball over four times.

Boise State put six players in double-figures led by La'Shard Anderson's 16 points and 16 points from Ryan Watkins. Daequon Montreal and Robert Arnold each finished with 11 points, Jeff Elorriaga finished with 12 and Paul Noonan finished with 10. Montreal grabbed nine rebounds, Arnold added seven and Anderson finished with a game-high nine assists.

The Broncos hit 9-of-15 three point attempts (60 percent) and hit 26-of-32 free throws (81.3 percent). New Mexico State struggled from the floor hitting just 19-of-44 shots, 4-of-13 from three but shot well from the free throw stripe hitting 21-of-27 attempts. The Broncos out-rebounded the Aggies 28-25.

The Aggies finish the season with a 16-17 record and suffer their first losing season since 2004-2005.