Broncos Down UNM on Buzzer Beater

March 7, 2017

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LAS VEGAS  - Brooke Pahukoa hit a buzzer beater Tuesday afternoon in the Mountain West Quarterfinals to lift Boise State past the New Mexico Lobos 64-62 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. For the fourth time during the current eight-game win streak Boise State rallied from behind to start the fourth quarter for the victory.

The win advances the Broncos (23-7) into Wednesday's semifinals against regular-season champion Colorado State (24-7) at 7:30 p.m. (Mountain) Wednesday night at Las Vegas. The Rams defeated San Jose State 65-60 in the first quarterfinal of the day.

After New Mexico had tied the game with 3.2 seconds remaining, Boise State called a timeout to advance the ball and setup a play.

Shalen Shaw was given the task of getting the ball into play, which she did sending a great pass from in front of the Bronco bench to Brooke Pahukoa standing about four feet out from the basket in the middle of the key. Pahukoa dribbled once then spun around sending up a fade away jumper over the defender. The game winning shot dropped through handing the Broncos the two-point victory.

Brooke Pahukoa finished the game with her ninth 20-plus point game, third straight, tallying a team-high 25 powered by four 3-pointers. The senior from Lake Stevens, Wash., also had six rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes.

Trailing 57-52 with 7:44 to play in the fourth, Marta Hermida hit two crucial back-to-back baskets to spark a 10-2 Boise State run that put the Broncos up 62-59 with 1:37 to go. Hermida finished the game with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor with two triples, team-high eight rebounds and one steal.

Trailing 62-59, New Mexico gained possession of the ball with a little over seven seconds left. The Lobos eventually called three timeouts without anytime running off the clock, the last after the Lobos could not get the ball in and was forced to call their last timeout. The Lobos' eventually put the ball in play and ran a 3-point play for Cherise Beynon who converted with 3.2 seconds remaining that setup Pahukoa's game winning shot.

For the second-consecutive meeting between the Lobos and the Broncos, Boise State won on a buzzer beater after New Mexico hit a 3-pointer to tie it late. The same thing happened in the victory at Boise on Feb. 15 when Marijke Vanderschaaf hit a 10-foot baseline jumper for a 64-62 win.

The game was close throughout the 40 minutes and was a 36-35 game in favor of New Mexico at the half. The largest Boise State lead was three points on several occasions, while the Lobos led for 28 minutes and by as much as five a couple of times. There were 17 lead changes and six ties during the game as the teams went back and forth.

Boise State's defense came up big again for the Broncos who held UNM to 1-of-9 shooting from the floor in the final 7:44 of the fourth period. For the 17th time this year Boise State held a team below 40 percent shooting (.391) from the floor overall, they are now 16-1 when doing so.

The Broncos finished the contest shooting 37.1 percent from the floor as a team, 36 percent (9-25) from beyond the 3-point arc and a perfect 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. The nine treys are the most by the Broncos since the win over San Jose State (Jan. 21) in Boise when they hit 14.

Vanderschaaf finished with eight points, six rebounds, one block and team-high three steals. Riley Lupfer matched Vanderschaaf's eight points with most coming on two 3-pointers.

Yaiza Rodriguez added five points, three rebounds and six assists in the win. Shaw tallied two points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal.

New Mexico shot 39.1 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent (8-24) from the arc and 50 percent (4-8) from the free-throw line. The Lobos were led by Cherise Beynon with 20 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.


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