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(Friday, March 14th)
Final Score: (20) New Mexico 70, Boise State 67
Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Cameron Bairstow had 23 points and eight rebounds as No. 20 New Mexico survived for a 70-67 victory over Boise State in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
Kendall Williams had 16 points and Deshawn Delaney added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Lobos (26-6), who will take on San Diego State in the final on Saturday in the hopes of winning their third straight conference title.
Derrick Marks had 20 points and Thomas Bropleh added 16, but was thrown out for a flagrant 2 foul on Bairstow with just over seven minutes to play for the Broncos (21-13), who had defeated San Jose State and Nevada to reach the semifinal.
Bropleh's foul came with 7:15 to play shortly after he hit a 3-pointer to make it a 51-49 game in New Mexico's favor.
Bairstow was at the left of the net and about to attempt a short shot when Bropleh came over top and hit Biarstow in the head. After a brief metting, the refs gave Bropleh the flagrant 2 and he walked into the locker room.
After Nick Duncan hit two free throws with 3:33 to play, Alex Kirk countered with a layup and foul shot to give New Mexico a 60-55 lead with 3:18 showing on the clock.
Duncan then rimmed out on a deep 3, but Igor Hadziomerovic grabbed the offensive board and Anthony Drmic put in a reverse layup with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Williams was then fouled on a jumper and air-balled his first attempt, but made the next one, and Marks countered with two at the other end for a two- point game with 2:07 to play.
Williams, though, countered with a 3-pointer and, after Derrick Marks missed a 3 at the other end, Bairstow drilled a jumper for a 66-59 lead.
Marks then hit a 3 to give Boise State some life, and Williams missed both of his free throws with 31.8 seconds to play.
Jeff Elorriaga was fed the ball for a deep 3, and he drained it with 21 seconds showing on the clock to make it a 66-65 game.
Williams was quickly fouled, but this time he made both from the stripe for a three-point lead with 18.6 seconds showing.
Following a New Mexico timeout, Marks was looking for a 3, but wound up driving the lane and settling for a layup with 5.2 seconds left.
Bairstow was fouled with 3.8 seconds to play and made his two chances, and Boise State was then called for a backcourt violation as Duncan stepped across midcourt after grabbing the ball.
Kirk missed both his free throws with 1.2 seconds to play, but the desperation heave fell well short.
New Mexico never trailed in this game and held a 10-point lead early in the first half, but Boise State kept the game from getting out of hand and trailed by six, 35-29, at the half.
The Lobos shot 43.8 percent from the floot and grabbed 37 rebounds, while Boise State hit 39.3 percent of its shots and grabbed 33 boards ... New Mexico has won this tournament three times ... The Lobos hold a 6-1 lead in the series with the Broncos.
03/15 02:15:40 ET
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