In Boise States Mountain West-opening victory against Wyoming last week, the Broncos executed their final game-winning 3-pointer to perfection.
In the waning minutes against No. 19 New Mexico on Wednesday at Taco Bell Arena, the Broncos late-game execution both on offense and defense was lacking.
The Lobos outlasted Boise State 79-74 in overtime, snapping the Broncos seven-game winning streak and handing them their first home loss of the year before a crowd of 10,420.
If we want to be the team we want to be, we have to win games like this, junior center Ryan Watkins said.
Instead it was New Mexico, an NCAA Tournament team in three of the past four seasons, that made the plays down the stretch and in overtime.
And it was a player the Lobos didnt even expect to suit up who made the biggest ones.
Hugh Greenwood, an Australian who played on the Under-19 national team with Boise States Igor Hadziomerovic and Anthony Drmic, missed shootaround, the Lobos pregame meal and walkthrough with flu-like symptoms.
But his driving lay-up with 54 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 63.
Greenwood then scored the first points of overtime, knocking down a jumper to give the Lobos a 65-63 lead. Greenwood pulled down a big offensive rebound with the Lobos clinging to a 71-69 lead and then made a 3-pointer to all but seal the game on the same possession.
I think he enjoys playing against his mates, Boise State coach Leon Rice said.
Said New Mexico coach Steve Alford: We were just trying to get him healthy. You have to give Hugh a lot of credit. And I think our team feeds off that kind of toughness.
Still the Broncos had their chances.
After Greenwoods 3-pointer made it 74-69, Mikey Thompson made two free throws to cut the deficit to three. Hadziomerovic stole the ensuing inbound pass and found Drmic open behind the 3-point line.
Drmic let it fly, but it clanked off the rim.
Thats how we play, Rice said.
Said Drmic: We needed a 3. I was open, so Im confident in making that shot.
More than the missed 3 in OT, it was missed opportunities early that left the Broncos (13-3, 1-1 MW) smarting. They led by as many as nine in the first half and gave away several opportunities to extend the lead farther against the cold-shooting Lobos.
New Mexico scored 14 of the final 19 points in the first half to earn a tie at the break.
Throwing the ball away, three or four turnovers in a row, it stops the momentum of our offense, said Drmic, who played all 45 minutes.
Boise State led for much of the second half, too. New Mexico took its first lead of the second half on Jamal Feltons 3-pointer with 6:26 remaining, but then Drmic scored five straight on a lay-up and a 3-pointer, both assisted by Hadziomerovic.
But Boise States next four possessions resulted in three turnovers and a missed jumper.
And on the Broncos final possession of regulation, with the score tied at 63, sophomore point guard Derrick Marks (27 points in his first game since serving a one-game suspension) tried to freelance on his own and missed a jumper.
A little bit of our youth showed, said Rice, who played six freshmen and sophomores.
The Broncos were able to handle New Mexicos size advantage, even with backup center Kenny Buckner serving the second game of a three-game suspension for violating team rules. The Broncos outrebounded New Mexico 38-33 and limited 7-foot center Alex Kirk to 10 points and seven rebounds.
Kirk and Watkins (12 points, 10 rebounds) both fouled out in overtime. When Kirk fouled out, the Broncos went to a five-guard lineup. It was against that lineup that Greenwood pulled down his huge offensive board, just New Mexicos sixth of the game.
With so much emphasis on the interior, New Mexico hit nine 3-pointers, including Greenwoods big shot in overtime.
When you take something away, you usually give something up. Theyre a good enough team and have good enough players and a good enough plan that they can counter, Rice said. The league is just going to be about this. Nobody is going undefeated.
Note: It is the first time since 1998-99 that Boise State has attracted two crowds of at least 10,000 fans for a home game in the same season. The Broncos drew 11,210 for their victory against LSU in December.