- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Elijah Brown was not thrilled to see fans heading up the stairs to the exits when New Mexico trailed by 15 against Boise State late in Wednesday’s game.

So he did something about it.

“I was a little hurt,” he said. “But we have to play in there whether it’s an empty gym or we have 15,000 in there. We can really do nothing about it. They left early. But we can’t change how we play. We just always felt like we had a chance to win the game. But they gotta do what they gotta do.”

Those who left early missed a bit of history as the Lobos came all the way back for an 80-78 win, the largest deficit New Mexico (16-10, 9-4 Mountain West) has ever erased in the final six minutes.

“The people that left missed a great game,” said Lobos coach Craig Neal, who pumped his arms after the game. “Those that stayed made a lot of noise. It’s good for us, good for me. We won one of those games when everybody thought we were dead in the water. I was basically raising my hands in the air because I was appreciating the people who stayed.”

Brown scored 13 of his 26 points in a game-ending 19-2 run to give New Mexico the wild win.

It was enough to offset Anthony Drmic’s season-high 30 off the bench for the Broncos (17-10, 8-6). His 3-pointer just before the buzzer drew iron and bounced away.

The Lobos trailed 76-61 with six minutes when New Mexico and Brown took off, with his 4-point play igniting the team. He added two more 3-pointers in the closing minutes.

Tim Williams added 18 points and four blocks - including one with eight second left of Mikey Thompson’s drive toward the bucket - for the Lobos.

James Webb III had 18 points and 13 boards for Boise State.

“I just tried to relax,” Brown said of the closing moments. “The last few games I haven’t really shot the ball well. I think it’s because I’ve been pressing so much. Once I saw that we had that deficit, I kind of felt the vibe within, just the whole vibe.”

Boise State coach Leon Rice could only shake his head after it was over.

“You can’t get the yips at the free throw line,” he said, noting his team hit 2-of-10 foul shots in the second half. “Their kid made some big shots down the stretch and there are some things we can do a little better.”

It’s the type of game that can boost New Mexico down the stretch, Brown said.

“A win like this can put us on another level,” he said.

___

TIP-INS:

Boise State: Normally a starter, Drmic came off the bench for a third straight game. He missed his first two 3-pointers before making six straight. But he missed his final four.

New Mexico: Williams, New Mexico’s leading rebounder, didn’t grab his first until 12:22 remained in the game. … Before the game, New Mexico coach Craig Neal said he needed 7-foot-1 post Obij Aget to last four minutes before getting a foul. Aget picked one up 40 seconds into the game and was replaced by Joe Furstinger.

CELEBRITY SIGHTING:

The night’s loudest and longest ovation went to UFC champion Holly Holm, an Albuquerque native.

UP NEXT:

Boise State is home Tuesday against UNLV.

New Mexico plays Air Force on Saturday.

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