New Mexico downs Boise State 88-83 behind Brown's 30 points
BOISE, Idaho (AP) Elijah Brown scored 30 points and New Mexico got hot from the 3-point line late to down Boise State 88-83 on Saturday to move into sole possession of second place in the Mountain West Conference.
The Lobos (13-8, 6-2) made three 3-pointers in a 90-second stretch to help turn a four-point deficit into a 72-67 lead they would never relinquish. After starting 1 of 6, New Mexico finished 8 of 16 from behind the arc.
''I just thought our guys started looking for some shots, and we were moving the ball well,'' Lobos coach Craig Neal said. ''One reason we lead the league in shooting percentage is that our guys are sharing the ball.''
Tim Williams scored 21 points and Cullen Neal added 14 for the Lobos, who shot 56 percent from the field and made nine consecutive free throws in the final minute to hold on for their third straight win.
''Once we're able to get to the bonus, that really gives us an opportunity to score because we're a good free-throw shooting team,'' Neal said.
Brown made 12 of 14 from the line and also had five rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes. He went 4 of 7 from 3-point range, including a trey that beat the buzzer to give the Lobos a 40-39 halftime lead.
''When Brown plays like that, he's one of the best you'll play against,'' Boise State coach Leon Rice said. ''He can be special.''
Nick Duncan scored 19 points and Lonnie Jackson scored 14 of his 17 in the second half, including nine in the final minute to keep Boise State (15-7, 6-3) within striking distance. Mikey Thompson scored 17 points and had a career-best 10 assists to go with five steals and no turnovers.
Offense wasn't the problem for Boise State, which gave up 53 points in the second half against UNLV on Wednesday.
''Our defense can be a lot better,'' Rice said. ''We can't put all that pressure on our offense. We've got to make it tougher for teams to score.''
''The thing I feel good about is that we have kids who care,'' Rice said. ''They're going to show up to battle. We've got to find a way to help them as coaches... Sometimes it takes a couple of losses to get their focus.''
Leading-scorer James Webb III was held to eight points, the second time in three games where he failed to reach double figures after 10 double-digit games in a row. Webb did have a game-high 13 rebounds.
Boise State forward Anthony Drmic scored 10 points before fouling out. Drmic moved into eighth place on the Mountain West's all-time scoring list with 1,787 career points. Drmic passed Ruben Douglas of the New Mexico. . Boise State fell to 28-5 under coach Leon Rice when scoring at least 80 points in a game.
New Mexico became the first team this season to attempt more free throws than Boise State in Taco Bell Arena. The Lobos went 24 of 28 from the line, compared with 22 of 26 for the Broncos. . Neal now has scored in double figures six consecutive games since not scoring against Washington State on Dec. 25, 2015. . Williams, who entered the game leading the Mountain West in field goal percentage, made 7 of 10 shots.
New Mexico hosts UNLV on Tuesday.
Boise State hosts Utah State on Tuesday.