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New Mexico Edges Out BYU In Thriller Were You Lucky To See It?

If you did not have DirecTv then you were out of luck (like me) you missed the game.  Well, I did see some from an internet feed that was sketchy and tough to watch.  This game essentially gives the Lobos the top seed which could be good or bad, depending on if UNLV is the four seed who also hosts the tournament on their home court.

This game had the Lobos out to a huge league -- relatively speaking -- of eight points before BYU made a comeback in the game.  The story of the game was BYU's guard Jimmer Fredette who played only 16 minutes and ended up with six points.  He had some type of stomach virus and was unable to play at his usual high level. Michael Loyd, Jr stepped up for BYU who had a career high 19 points in his replacement of Jimmer.   Also true frosh Tyler Haws chipped in with 18 points to keep BYU in the game with chances to win this game. 

Shooting was the big difference in this game as New Mexico shot 50 percent fro the field and 10-23 from three point range; while BYU shot 46 percent from the field and a putrid 6 for 21 from behind the arc.  However, the lack of free throw conversions for the Lobos allowed BYU to hang around in this game; they shot 9 of 20 from the line.  Had New Mexico been 14-20 this game would not have come down to the wire.

The Lobos had an eight point lead at the half but BYU took a 13-4 run to start the second half to make this game live up to the hype that was predicted all week. 

New Mexico was lead by the usual suspects with Darrington Hobson who had 20 points 14 rebounds and Dairese Gary had 23 points.  Rebounding was an advantage for New Mexico as they were plus nine on the day.  Down the stretch was really when the Lobo free throw woes came into play as they missed 4 of 8 down the stretch and two in the final second.  

The biggest play of the game came when BYU had a chance to tie the game when Darington Hobson blocked Noah Hartsock's layup attempt with two seconds remaining.  After the game there was almost exciting as the game when BYU's Jonathan Tavernari blew up with the post game handshake between him and New Mexico coach Steve Alford.

Here is what Alford said to ESPN's Andy Katz:

“I was telling him he had a phenomenal year and career at BYU,’’ Alford said of the senior. “He was obviously upset and had words for me. But he came into the locker room afterwards and apologized. It was a class act. He’s a great kid and it was senior day so I felt for him. I understand what happened. He’s one of my favorites in the league.’’ 

However BYU fans claim that Alford swore at them oh and here is a video of the Alford and Tavenari exchange, video pertains profanity you have been warned.

With the win, the Lobos set records for consecutive conference wins with 13 and consecutive conference road wins with seven. They also set a school record with 10 road wins this season.  Also, New Mexico is now 6-0 against teams ranked in the top 25.  This almost certainly puts New Mexico in the Salt Lake region if they are able to win out and an outside shot at a two seed.