The pit overtook the Broncos: New Mexico defeats Boise State 81-79 in an overtime nail biter

Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter

A career-high 28 points from Tyson Degenhart was not enough for Boise State men’s basketball to secure victory against New Mexico on Jan. 20, as the Broncos were knocked off in the final seconds of overtime by the Lobos, 81-79.

The two teams battled back and forth in the paint during the first half. 

The Broncos shot 51% from the field while the Lobos were held to just 35% as Boise State took a 37-31 advantage to enter halftime.

Quite a scene ensued when a group of New Mexico baseball players lined the hallway to the Broncos locker room and were causing commotion while the Bronco basketball team exited their designated locker room.

“They (New Mexico baseball players) were in our face yelling. I’ve had some guys over the years, that would’ve ended in a brawl,” head coach Leon Rice said. “That needs to be addressed by the Mountain West. We’re not lining up our football team and making (our opponent) run through them.”

The commotion in the tunnel entering the locker room seemed to be the least of the Broncos’ problems, as the New Mexico offense proved to be far too powerful. 

Early in the second half, the team took turns overtaking the lead. With just 10 minutes left to play, the Lobos took their first lead. Despite the Broncos’ sturdy efforts, the Lobos responded to nearly every Boise State basket.

New Mexico’s two free throws put the home team up 72-69 with just four seconds left. With just three points to tie the game, Boise State inbounded the ball at half court and executed a play that got the ball into the hands of a wide-open Degenhart. 

The top-scorer of the night drained a much needed shot from behind the arc to force overtime.

Degenhart’s 28-point night led the Broncos in scoring, as Max Rice trailed with 17 points and Marcus Shaver Jr. rounded out the list with 10 points on the night. 

With the Broncos unable to seal the deal in overtime, the team now sits at 15-5 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain West conference. 

With this loss, the Broncos will no longer be in the top spot in the Mountain West standings, and are amongst San Diego State, Nevada and Utah State in hopes of claiming the top spot. 

The Broncos will return home to play conference rivals Fresno State on Jan. 24 at Extra Mile Arena.

[Photo of Boise State men’s basketball forward Tyson Degenhart.]
Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter

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