‘Awful’ halftime incident overshadows overtime contest between Boise State and New Mexico

He might look like he can’t “jump over a small-town phone book,” as one Fox Sports 1 commentator said, but he sure can shoot under pressure.

Sophomore forward Tyson Degenhart sank a 3-pointer with 1 second left to force overtime, but the Boise State men’s basketball team came up short in an 81-79 loss to New Mexico on Friday in front of 14,566 fans at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The on-court action, however, was overshadowed by a halftime incident.

During his postgame radio interview with KBOI 670 AM, Rice was upset about a halftime altercation involving the New Mexico baseball team.

“There were a lot of different things tonight that were out of the ordinary, including some halftime stuff with their baseball team towards our locker room that I was really displeased with,” Rice said. “I’ve been coaching 35 years, and I’ve never had to deal with something like that. The league needs to address that.

“I thought it was really unprofessional by them, and their administration said that, but you don’t want (apologies) you want better game management. That was awful.”

According to postgame video posted by Bronco Nation News, Rice said the New Mexico baseball team lined the hallway to the Broncos’ locker room, nearly starting an all-out brawl.

“That could have been a riot up here at halftime,” Rice told Bronco Nation News. “We had to run through the baseball team, and they were in our face. I had to get our team through as quick as we can.”

This isn’t the first time things have gotten heated between the Broncos and Lobos at The Pit.

In 2018, the Lobos missed a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds. The benches then cleared after New Mexico’s Joe Furstinger came in late trying to foul Boise State’s Marcus Dickinson, knocking him to the ground with a high hit after Dickinson had pulled down the rebound. Boise State sophomore Justinian Jessup then pushed Furstinger away from Dickinson as members of both teams rushed into the melee.

That same game, Leon Rice was spit on by a fan while walking back to the locker room.

Then in 2019, RJ Williams was ejected after receiving two technicals during a verbal exchange with the Lobos’ Carlton Bragg.

Friday’s loss knocks the Broncos (15-5, 5-2 MW) out of first place in the Mountain West standings and into a three-way tie for second with New Mexico (18-2, 5-2) and Nevada (15-5, 5-2).

“I’m super proud of our guys,” Boise State coach Leon Rice told KBOI 670 AM. “We would have loved to sneak out of here with that one, but you’ve got to give New Mexico credit. Those guys were shot makers and we knew it. Those guards hit tough shot after tough shot after tough shot.”

New Mexico’s Morris Udeze made the game-winner on a layup with 2 seconds left in OT. The Broncos got a look at the potential game-tying 3-pointer, but Marcus Shaver Jr.’s shot was off the mark.

Degenhart finished with a game-leading and career-high 28 points, while Max Rice added 17 points and Shaver had 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. paced the Lobos with 25 points and seven rebounds.

The Broncos return home for a pair of Mountain West games, beginning with Fresno State. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Tuesday at ExtraMile Arena, and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1, or listen on the radio on KBOI 670 AM.

Women’s basketball: BSU rally falls short

Shaiquel McGruder paced four Lobos in double figures with 25 points and 14 rebounds as the New Mexico women’s basketball team held off Boise State 76-68 on Saturday afternoon at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Broncos (8-12, 3-4 MW) trailed 41-26 at halftime but rallied in the second half to get as close as five points on two occasions: 62-57 with 6:45 to play and 72-67 with 26 seconds left.

Boise State held New Mexico without a field goal for the final 5:15 of the game, but the Lobos used a strong performance at the free-throw line (24-for-28) to preserve the win.

Junior forward Elodie Lalotte was the Broncos’ top performer, notching a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Dani Bayes added 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

The Broncos will be back in action Thursday against Air Force. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m. at ExtraMile Arena, and the game will be streamed on the Mountain West Network, or listen on the radio on KBOI 670 AM.

NEW MEXICO 81, BOISE ST. 79 (OT)

Degenhart 12-20 1-2 28, N.Smith 4-9 0-1 8, Agbo 2-10 1-1 5, M.Rice 7-15 2-2 17, Shaver 5-13 0-0 10, Young 2-4 0-0 5, Sylla 1-2 2-2 4, Whiting 1-3 0-0 2, Milner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-76 6-8 79.

Allick 3-4 2-2 8, Udeze 7-17 1-5 15, House 7-15 1-2 16, Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Mashburn 9-21 3-3 25, Dent 4-5 1-1 10, Jenkins 2-7 1-1 5, Forsling 0-0 0-0 0, Seck 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-70 9-14 81.

Halftime—Boise St. 37-31. 3-Point Goals—Boise St. 5-24 (Degenhart 3-5, Young 1-2, M.Rice 1-6, Whiting 0-1, Agbo 0-3, N.Smith 0-3, Shaver 0-4), New Mexico 6-13 (Mashburn 4-7, Dent 1-1, House 1-4, Jenkins 0-1). Rebounds—Boise St. 43 (N.Smith 13), New Mexico 37 (Allick 18). Assists—Boise St. 11 (Shaver 4), New Mexico 13 (House 4). Total Fouls—Boise St. 18, New Mexico 12. A—14,566 (15,411).