Porter’s Three Gives Utah State 68-66 Win Over New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Abel Porter hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left as Utah State escaped with a 68-66 win over New Mexico.
Sam Merrill had 22 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals to lead the Aggies. Brock Miller poured in 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the three-point line. Neemias Queta added 8 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The Aggies shot 49 percent from the field and made 9 of their 18 attempts from downtown. New Mexico made just 39 percent of their field goals and 33 percent from deep.
The Lobos were led by Carlton Bragg with 18 points and 6 rebounds, Anthony Mathis had 16 points, all in the second half and Vance Jackson chipped in 13 points and 7 rebounds.
Aggies Start Strong
New Mexico scored the first bucket of the game but the Aggies jumped out to a 9-0 run in the first 3 minutes.
Utah State then went on a 10-2 run after that and was up 22-8 with 9 minutes left in the first half. Brock Miller and Neemias Queta had combined for 12 of the Aggies 22 points.
Towards the end of the first half, the Lobos went on a 9-0 run to pull within single digits before Miller hit his third three-pointer of the game. The Aggies held a 30-22 lead with 2 minutes left in the half.
Utah State put six more points on the board before halftime and had a 36-27 advantage.
New Mexico Makes Comeback
The Lobos had a good run in the second half as they outscored the Aggies 27-18 to tie the game at 54.
New Mexico took just their second lead of the game after Anthony Mathis hit a big three-pointer. They were up 62-61 with 5 minutes left in the game.
Abel Porter of Utah State answered with a triple of his own to put the Aggies back up by two.
With 30 seconds left, the Lobos were bringing the ball into the frontcourt when they threw a pass from sideline-to-sideline. The officials called a backcourt violation but replay showed that it was not a violation.
The Mountain West Conference released a statement following the game on the backcourt violation call.
“After postgame video review, the Mountain West has determined the whistle for a backcourt violation in the final minute of the Utah State at New Mexico men’s basketball game was incorrect. Inasmuch as the situation involved a judgment call, it was not reviewable via the instant replay monitor in accordance with NCAA Playing Rule 11-1.4. The matter will be addressed via the Conference’s internal officiating evaluation procedures.”
Utah State was still given the ball and Porter hit the game-winning three-pointer, giving New Mexico 1.6 seconds to shoot a half-court shot and they missed and Utah State escaped with the win.
— USU Men’s Hoops (@USUBasketball) January 26, 2019
The Aggies improved to 15-5 overall and 5-2 in Mountain West Conference action. They have won four in a row and five of their last six.
Utah State will host San Jose State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the Mountain West Network. The Spartans are 3-15 on the year and 0-6 in conference play and have lost their last 9 games.
The Aggies won the first meeting against the Spartans this season, 81-63 in San Jose on January 16.
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