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New Mexico shocks Boise State in final seconds, wins 80-78

Boise State refuses to shake second half problems as the Broncos surrender a 19-2 run in the closing minutes in Albuquerque.

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Elijah Brown tallied 26 points and six rebounds to help guide New Mexico (16-10, 9-4) to an improbable comeback victory over Boise State (17-10, 8-6) Wednesday night. Tim Williams added 18 points including 10 free throws, but Brown took over the game down the stretch for Craig Neal's squad. Anthony Drmic had a memorable scoring night for the Broncos, unloading for 30 points (highest total since December of 2013) and drilled six 3s.

It was yet another game of lengthy scoring runs and momentum shifts. New Mexico led for the majority of the first half, but both teams had an incredible stretch of 3-point shooting, connecting on an astounding 11 straight 3s in only a four minute, 13 second period.

The second period, which has been the Achille's heel for the Broncos all season, appeared to follow a new narrative early in the half. Boise State trailed 42-37 at the intermission, but a 14-0 run led by tough defense and an attacking offensive force gave the Broncos a comfortable 55-46 advantage. The Lobos made only one field goal in a seven and a half minute stretch as BSU led 76-62 with under six minutes remaining, a deficit that would be too much for most teams to overcome, but Elijah Brown wasn't ready to call it a night.

In the final six minutes, Brown scored 13 points, all coming in key situations, as he single-handedly commanded New Mexico to a tremendous comeback victory. The Lobos also improved its effort on the defensive end of the court down the stretch, limiting Boise State to only two points (a James Webb III tip-in) in the last six minutes, a 19-2 run for the Lobos.

Although the Broncos have had countless problems maintaining double-digit leads in the second half this season, a 14-point advantage with six minutes left even seemed impossible to let slip away. But Boise State was unable to hold on to what should have been another victory in what has been a disappointing season for Leon Rice and the Broncos.

As for New Mexico, the Lobos remain three games behind MW-leading San Diego State, but should feel very comfortable with its position in the standings. Boise State slips all the way down to 5th in the leaderboard, with a 8-6 conference record after a 6-1 start to league play.