Sometimes it’s good to have seniors.
Boise State basketball player Brooke Pahukoa hit a game-winning jumper with a second remaining in Tuesday’s Mountain West Tournament quarterfinals at Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center to lead the fourth-seeded Broncos (23-7) past fifth-seeded New Mexico 64-62 and into Wednesday’s semifinal against top-seeded Colorado State (24-7).
The game featured six ties and 17 lead changes.
Pahukoa scored Boise State’s final six points and had a game-high 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting.
“Kudos to (head) coach (Gordy Presnell),” Pahukoa said. “He said you’re going to get a screen and turn right back and you’ll get a direct pass. ... It was the play he drew up.”
The Broncos used a 10-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to take a 60-59 lead after trailing by as many as five points with four minutes left in regulation. New Mexico’s (15-14) Jayda Bovero hit a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining that knotted the game at 62-62.
After Bovero’s shot, Boise State called a timeout and advanced the ball up court. Pahukoa caught a pass in the post, spun and hit a turnaround jumper.
Boise State led for a total of less than 10 minutes and was outscored in the paint 32-24.
“It was a great game. I think it was a game fans would enjoy,” Presnell said. “It wasn’t always that fun to coach, but I really was just really proud of our kids.”
Pahukoa’s late heroics were helped by stellar Boise State defense late, as the Lobos hit two of their last 10 field goals to end the game and shot 33 percent overall.
On the other side of the bracket, second-seeded Wyoming faces No. 7 Fresno State and No. 3 UNLV takes on No. 6 Utah State on Tuesday night.
Boise State faces Colorado State in Wednesday’s semifinals at 7:30 p.m. (MW Network) at Thomas & Mack Center. The teams split a pair of meetings in the regular season, with the road team winning both times.
MOUNTAIN WEST WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
At Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas
All games on MW Network
Game 1: San Jose St. 76, San Diego St. 58
Game 2: Fresno St. 62, Nevada 57
Game 3: Utah St. 46, Air Force 40
Game 4: Colorado St. 65, San Jose St. 60
Game 5: Boise St. 64, New Mexico 62
Game 6: Fresno St. 58, Wyoming 48
Game 7: UNLV 68, Utah St. 43
Game 8: No. 4 Boise St. (23-7) vs. No. 1 Colorado St. (24-7), 7:30 p.m.
Game 9: No. 7 Fresno St. (17-14) vs. No. 3 UNLV (22-9), 10 p.m.
Game 10: Winner 8 vs. Winner 9, 1 p.m.