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Boise State (21-12) vs. (20) New Mexico (25-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 11:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: BSU 12-4, UNM 13-2. Away Record: BSU 5-7, UNM 8-3. Neutral Record: BSU 4-1, UNM 4-1. Conference Record: BSU 9-9, UNM 15-3. Series Record: New Mexico leads, 5-1.

GAME NOTES: The 20th-ranked New Mexico Lobos try to make it back to the championship round of the 15th annual Mountain West Conference Tournament, as they challenge the Boise State Broncos in the semifinals tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The second-seeded Lobos, winners of the 2012 and 2013 tournament titles with victories against San Diego State and UNLV, respectively, began their quest for a three-peat on Thursday night as they dominated seventh-seeded Fresno State, 93-77. With the victory UNM, a squad which has won this tournament a total of three times in all, moved to 14-11 in the event since it began back in 2000.

As for the sixth-seeded Broncos, one of the many programs that have made the move from the Western Athletic Conference to the MWC in recent years, their journey in the tourney began on Wednesday night with an 83-52 thrashing of San Jose State and continued with a 75-62 romp over third-seeded Nevada last night.

The teams split their two meetings during the regular season, each winning on their home floor, which means the all-time series now stands at 5-1 in favor of the Lobos. The winner this time around will go to the tournament title game on Saturday and face the winner of the UNLV/San Diego State clash for the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Boise State led by as many as 11 points in the first half against the Wolf Pack last night, but the Broncos ended up converting a mere eight field goals in the period and went cold down the stretch, allowing Nevada to knot the score at 32-32. The Broncos bounced back in the second half with not only 52.4 percent accuracy from the floor but also 17-of-20 at the free-throw line to cruise to the win. Ryan Watkins was responsible for a double-double consisting of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks accounted for 17 and 16 points, respectively, although they each turned the ball over four times as well. Marks connected on all 11 of his free-throw tries to compensate for a meager 2-of-9 effort from the floor.

The Lobos opened the meeting with Fresno State on a 14-3 run and never looked back, leading by as many as 19 as they cruised to the comfortable win on Thursday night in Sin City. Cameron Bairstow again showed why many believe he should have been named the MWC Player of the Year over Xavier Thames of San Diego State, as he registered yet another double-double with 21 points and a team-best 10 rebounds. Also scoring 21 points for UNM was Alex Kirk who seemed to have his way in the paint, even though he cleared just six rebounds.

Kendall Williams filled out his stat line nicely with 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds, helping to disguise the fact that he shot only 1-of-5 behind the 3-point line. Then again, the entire New Mexico roster struggled on the perimeter with only 4-of-14 accuracy. In addition to posting a 40-25 rebounding advantage, the Lobos also generated a 31-19 scoring edge on the glass.

While nothing is ever written in stone in college basketball, the Lobos are more than likely heading to the NCAA Tournament regardless of the outcome here tonight, but it wouldn't hurt to make their case even stronger as they aimed towards a rematch against San Diego State in the title game.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico 77, Boise State 71

03/14 10:39:25 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
4th
SFG 2
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
4th
CLEM 16
SYR 6
 
4th
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
 
4th
COLST 45
WYO 17
 
4th
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
3rd
TENN 17
ALA 27
 
3rd
AUB 35
SCAR 35
 
Half
PSU 0
OSU 17
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
 
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
 
1st OT
OTT 2
NJD 2
 
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
 
2nd Intermission
STL 3
CHI 1
 
3rd
NAS 0
PIT 2
 
2nd Intermission
MIN 6
TAM 2
 
1st Intermission
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14