Bairstow leads No. 19 New Mexico past Boise State
Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Cameron Bairstow scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds and Tony Snell had 12 points, six boards and four assists to push No. 19 New Mexico past Boise State, 60-50, on Saturday at University Arena.
Jamal Fenton chipped in 11 points and Kendall Williams had 10 for the Lobos (22-4, 9-2 MWC), who won their second straight following a loss at UNLV on Feb. 9.
"Huge win for us," New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. "Just really proud of our guys. It was a gutty performance. We're tired. We're beat up. I knew it was going to be a very, very difficult game for us. The defensive performance: that was their lowest output of the year and this is a very good offensive team -- probably the best statistical offensive team in the league. So for us to do this defensively meant a great deal to the success of this game."
Derrick Marks netted a game-high 19 points and grabbed seven boards for the Broncos (16-8, 4-6), who have lost two of their last three and six of their last nine overall. Mikey Thompson and Anthony Drmic followed with nine points apiece in the defeat.
Fenton nailed a 3-pointer a little over nine minutes into the second half to give New Mexico a 41-34 lead. The Broncos fought back, though, over the next six-plus minutes to get within 47-46. The 12-6 surge was capped off by a short Marks jumper with 5:23 remaining.
Boise State, however quickly hit a wall and failed to score any points over the next four-plus minutes. By that time, New Mexico's edge had grown to 55-46. A fast break layup by Marks with 46 seconds remaining broke Boise State's dry spell, pulling the team within 55-48.
The Lobos then hit 5-of-6 free throws to secure the victory, its 12th consecutive conference win at "The Pit".
"This game was tough because Colorado State was tied with us and we are a game ahead of them," Fenton said. "Getting mentally prepared and physically prepared for this game was good. The game plan on (Derrick) Marks and (Anthony) Drmic was good and if we got those down we would have a good win."
The Broncos trailed 29-23 at the break and made just 2-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half.
New Mexico also used stifling defense earlier in the week versus Fresno State, holding the Bulldogs to three points in the final 10:08 in a 54-48 victory ... Both teams shot under 40 percent, as the Broncos made 20-of-54 field goals for 37 percent and the Lobos shot 34.7 percent (17-of-49) ... New Mexico is 13-1 at home this season ... Boise State is 0-4 in the all-time series.