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Men's basketball: Lobos hunt down Broncos in overtime

 On Friday, Jan. 20 the University of New Mexico men's basketball team defeated the Boise State University Broncos 81-79. Going into the night, the Broncos were tied for first in the Mountain West conference, but are now tied for second with a 5-3 record in conference play.

Both teams played well throughout the game, and it took a game-winning layup from Morris Udeze with under 2 seconds left for the Lobos to win the game. The Lobos had another solid team win with four players in double-digit scoring.

Along with the game winner, Udeze had 15 points in the game while navigating foul trouble. Jamal Mashburn Jr. led the team in scoring with 25 points. Josiah Allick dominated the paint, grabbing 18 rebounds and 8 points. Jaelen House came in clutch scoring 14 of his 16 points after the first half.

Tyson Degenhart had an incredible game for the Broncos, having scored 28 points which included a game-tying 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Max Rice helped give the Broncos a lead going into halftime by scoring 15 of his 17 points in the first half.

Mashburn made a mid-range jump shot on the first possession of the game, but it quickly became clear that scoring for either team would be no easy task. The Lobos were down 8-4 at the first media timeout with 14:47 left in the first half.

On a fast break, Allick had a dunk to put the Lobos within 2 and KJ Jenkins was fouled on a made jumpshot to give the Lobos the lead 15-14. Birima Seck fought for a loose ball that led to Mashburn making a 3-pointer. Degenhart made a difficult layup to tie the game for the Broncos 18-18 which led to a timeout with 7:12 left in the half.

Out of the timeout, Lobo Donovan Dent hit a 3-pointer, but the Broncos were able to respond every time the Lobos pulled ahead. With 3:51 left in the half, the score was 27-27.

The Broncos went on an 8-2 run to close the half; the Lobos were down 37-31 going into the second half. UNM was struggling to make their shots, making only 13 of their 37 shots.

The Lobos forced back-to-back turnovers to start the half, and Udeze scored on a layup. Mashburn made an open 3-pointer to cut the lead to 3. Dent had back-to-back blocks which ultimately led to a fast break dunk for Udeze to tie the game 42-42.

Allick was fouled and made both free throws; Mashburn followed it up with his fourth 3-pointer of the game. Allick gave the Lobos the lead with a layup. House scored in the paint to cap off a 6-0 run for the Lobos, forcing the Broncos to call a timeout down 55-52 with 8:48 left in the second half.

Degenhart made a 3-pointer out of the timeout to tie the game, but Udeze responded with a dunk to take back the lead. House was taking over the game on offense, scoring a 3-pointer. Dent checked into the game and drove straight to the lane for a layup to put the Lobos up 62-57.

Degenhart kept working in the paint, forcing his way to the basket for a layup and on the next possession, scored a 3-pointer. The Lobos never stopped scoring, though: House drove the lane in between defenders to make an easy basket.

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The Lobos were up by just 1 and had possession with 23.8 left in regulation. The Lobos inbounded the ball, and Boise fouled House. With the Lobos in the bonus, House shot one-and-one but missed his first free throw. The Broncos recovered the ball and quickly drove down the court.

With the clock winding down, Degenhart airballed a layup; Mashburn was then fouled with 4.9 seconds left. He made both free throws and put the Lobos up by 3. The Broncos successfully inbounded the ball and called a timeout to draw up a play with 4.1 seconds on the clock and the Lobos up 72-69.

After the inbound, the Broncos got the ball to Degenhart who made a 3-pointer to tie the game. Lobos called a timeout with 1.3 in the game. House attempted a half-court shot but missed. The score was 72-72 going into overtime.

Mashburn scored the first points of overtime with a jump shot, and the Lobos forced a turnover. Dent checked into the game and again went straight at the basket; he was fouled on a layup and made his free throw. Degenhart's late game heroics didn't stop in the second half, making a layup to put the Broncos down 3.

The Lobos were up 79-76 when the Broncos called a timeout with 32.2 seconds on the clock. Degenhart drove to the basket and was fouled on his layup; he made his free throw to tie the game. Lobos called a timeout with 4.0 seconds left and the game tied 79-79.

Dent inbounded the ball with the play designed for either Mashburn or Udeze to get the ball, depending who was open. With Mashburn covered, Dent passed to Udeze who drove the lane and rose up for a layup to win the game 81-79.

In his press conference after the game, head coach Richard Pitino stated how great of a game it was and gave credit to the 14,566 fans at The Pit.

"What an amazing college basketball game by both teams: they made plays, we made plays. They executed down the stretch, we executed down the stretch. They're really good. They're tough, they're physical, but I'm really proud of our guys to be able to bounce back in the second half and just find a way to cut that lead and go make a huge play … I'm not just saying this: that was the loudest building I've ever been in by far, and (it’s) not even close. Our fans were amazing … Thank you so much to our fans," Pitino said. 

The Lobos are now 18-2 overall and 5-2 in conference play — tied for second in the Mountain West conference. They next play in Reno against the University of Nevada on Monday, Jan. 23.

Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at sports@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @thomasbulger10

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