New Mexico Lobos guard Hugh Greenwood overcame more than the Boise St. Broncos’ defense Wednesday.
The sophomore fell ill with the flu around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, missed all the nationally ranked Lobos’ pre-game activities and very nearly missed the game entirely. But after receiving a pre-game IV to battle his flu-induced dehydration, Greenwood ultimately helped lead UNM to a thrilling 79-74 victory over the host Broncos before 10.420 at the Taco Bell Arena.
The Australian guard pulled down a timely offensive rebound off a miss by Chad Adams then followed it with a 3-pointer with 32 seconds to play in overtime to push the Lobos past Boise St. to push UNM to a 3-0 start in Mountain West Conference play.
"There was no way Hugh Greenwood should have been playing," said UNM head coach Steve Alford following the game. "I can't say enough about Hugh Greenwood," said Alford."
Greenwood, who scored five of his 15 points in overtime, said his illness nearly kept him out of the game.
"It wasn't looking good for a while," said Greenwood. "I was really nauseous. It was just in my nature to give it a (shot). I was generally fatigued, not eating or sleeping for so long."
New Mexico, which came into the game ranked 19th in the Associated Press poll and 21st in the Coaches poll, moves to 16-2 and 3-0 in the Mountain West Conference – the first time since the inception of the league that UNM has started 3-0 in MWC play.
Greenwood’s overtime heroics were set up by junior Tony Snell’s team-high 22 points, which kept scrappy New Mexico in the game, which featured 13 ties and 13 lead changes, but saw Boise St. holding a slim lead for much of the second half.
The Broncos managed several big runs to take leads in the game, but New Mexico managed to answer each run with a run of its own. Boise St. seemed to take a decisive lead when senior guard Derrick Marks hit a trey with 8:32 left in the game to take a 52-46 lead.
The Lobos countered with an 8-1 run to take a 54-53 lead. Boise managed to counter with another 5-0 run to take a 58-54 lead on an Anthony Drmic lay up.
The two teams battled until Greenwood hit a lay up with 55 seconds left in the game to tie the game at 63-63. Both teams missed what would have been game winning jumpers in the final 17 seconds to send the game into overtime.
"I really appreciate the effort of our guys again," said Alford. "Getting road wins is difficult. This is the fourth time we have come into somebody's home where they have been undefeated (and got a win). This might have been the best win maybe against the best team in their building."
Boise State (13-3, 1-1 MWC) battled back and forth for the first 10 minutes of the game before managing a 9-0 run to take a 32-23 lead with 4:15 left in the first half. But UNM whittled the lead down eventually tying the game 37-37 on a Snell free throw with 15 seconds left in the half. The Broncos missed two shows in the final seconds of the opening half.
Marks score a game high 27 points on 10 of 20 shooting while Ryan Watkins added 12 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double as Boise State finished with five players in double figures. But the Broncos only shot 8 of 20 on three pointers in regulation time, a solid 40% but fewer threes made than Boise’s average coming into the game.
But UNM was able to counter with four players in double figures themselves, led by Snell and Greenwood. Kendall Williams added 11 points and six assists while Alex Kirk added 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in overtime.
The Lobos again made more free throws (24) than its opponent shot (21). UNM took 31 freebees, though the Broncos outrebounded New Mexico 38-33 and outscored UNM in the paint 24-18.