ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)Nate Pryor’s over-the-back flip rolled in at the overtime buzzer to give New Mexico State a wild 78-76 victory over New Mexico, after which Aggies players stomped repeatedly on the Lobos’ half-court logo.
”The ball was kind of slippery and it came off my hand and I just kind of threw it up and got the shot,” Pryor said.
Teddy Allen finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds – his first career double-double – for New Mexico State (7-2), while Yuat Akot scored 19.
Jamal Mashburn Jr. had 26 points, including the game-tying bucket with 25.7 seconds left in overtime, for New Mexico (5-4). Jaelen House scored 21 points before leaving with an ankle injury late in regulation.
Jonny McCants, who scored 12 points for the Aggies, hit a bucket from the lane with 3.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
”I think at some point everyone that was in the building will say it was somewhat of a classic,” Aggies coach Chris Jans said. ”Overtime, big shots down the stretch. It was a heck of a ballgame. Pretty high level and the kids were playing very hard.
”As the clock was ticking in regulation and overtime, you could just feel it. Every play was critical. Both teams made some plays and fortunately for us, we made the last one.”
For the Aggies, simply getting Jans back on the sidelines after he missed 10 days and two games due to COVID-19 protocols, was a positive step for the program. The win continues to build the team’s drive into Western Athletic Conference play.
”I’m fortunate,” he said. ”Like most coaches will tell you, when you get a do-over, I’m pretty lucky, but it’s the world that we live in.”
The loss for New Mexico continues a tough stretch in which it has lost three of four and was particularly disappointing since the state’s stringent health mandates prevented the teams playing last season. New Mexico beat the Aggies on the road 101-94 on Nov. 30.
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Former Kentucky coach and NCAA champion Rick Pitino – now at Iona – and the father of Lobos head coach Richard Pitino, was in the Pit for the first time since 2010 when his Wildcats earned a trip to the Final Four with a win over West Virginia.
New Mexico: The Lobos continue a six-game homestand encompassing the entire month with a meeting Thursday against Denver.
New Mexico State: The Aggies continue the back half of a four-game road swing with a game at Loyola Marymount on Saturday.
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