Posted at: 03/15/2014 12:02 AM
Updated at: 03/15/2014 12:23 AM
By: Shaun Griswold, KOB.com
A wild end to the Mountain West tournament semi-final left New Mexico on top of Boise State, 70-67.
No. 20 New Mexico will now face No. 8 San Diego State for the conference tournament championship tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Cameron Bairstow led the Lobos in a gritty contest with 23 points on 15 for 18 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds.
The Lobos jumped to a 12-2 lead to start the game and entered the half with a six point lead.
In the second half, Thomas Bropleh brought back Boise State from a slow shooting performance.
He made a his fourth 3-point basket of the game to cut the Lobos lead to one possession with more than 7 minutes to play.
On the next possession, Bairstow went up for basket and was clotheslined by Bropleh on the shot. Bairstow was slow to get off the court and had a bloody nose.
After a review officials called a flagrant 2 foul on Bropleh. He was ejected from the game leading Boise State scorers with 16 points.
Despite the hot hand in the locker room, Boise State continued to press New Mexico into turnovers and had a chance to tie the game on the last possession due to bad free throw shooting by the Lobos.
Ahead 66-62 with just over a half minute to play, Kendall Williams missed two free throws that would have iced the game.
Boise State’s Jeff Elorriaga hit a desperation three to make it 66-65 with 21.0 remaining on the clock.
Williams would make his next two free throws and Derrick Marks responded with a drive to make it a one point game with six seconds to play.
Bairstow hit his free throws to extend the lead to 70-67. Boise State turned the ball over on their next possession and the Lobo fans left the contest exhausted but smiling.
Marks led Boise State with 20 points.
Williams had 16 points, and Alex Kirk grabbed 11 boards and scored nine points for New Mexico.
Deshawn Delaney had a breakout game with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Lobos shot 48 percent from the field in the game, but just 34 percent in the second half. New Mexico was 61 percent from the free throw line off a 22-36 effort.