ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The second installment of the Rio Grande Rivalry needed overtime to decide a winner. A shot right at the buzzer from Nate Pryor gave the NMSU Aggies a 76-74 overtime win over Richard Pitino and the University of New Mexico Lobos Monday night.
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“There for a while, I didn’t know if we were going to get a shot off, to be honest with you,” said New Mexico State University head coach Chris Jans. “I thought, here we go, double overtime. I’m not sure how he made the shot, but it went in.”
The Lobos appeared to have good defense on the shot, but it didn’t work. “It was a tough shot,” said UNM guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. “I mean he had to spin in the air and he ended up making a game-winning play. So, I mean it just ended up falling.” With the win, the Aggies split the season series with the Lobos.
The game had 15 lead changes and was hotly contested. Richard Pitino’s father and legendary coach Rick Pitino was in the audience as The Pit had the feeling of a packed house, something not seen since in quite some time. For the Lobos, the game was a tale of two halves. The Lobos took a 31-27 lead into halftime, but would grow could from the field.
The Lobos shot 39 percent for the game while the Aggies shot 50 percent. The Lobos had more opportunities at the free three-line with 23 attempts but only converted on 14 to shoot 61 percent from the line. The Aggies only got five attempts at the line and went 2 for 5.
The bigger Aggies dominated the action in the paint, outdueling the Lobos 66-32 in points in the paint. Jamal Mashburn shot a game-high 26 points for the Lobos while Jaelen House scored 21 points. “Obviously a great game and I am very appreciative of our fans to come out and certainly bring The Pit alive like we have all talked about,” said Lobos head coach Richard Pitino. “I am disappointed that we didn’t come away with the win but, I think there is a lot of things we can learn from.”
Three Aggies scored in double figures with Teddy Allen’s 20 points leading the way. Allen also had 11 rebounds for a double-double. After the game tempers flared as the Aggies went to the middle of the court and stomped on the Lobo logo. With the loss, the Lobos dropped to 5-4 on the season. They will host Denver Thursday. The Aggies improved to 7-2 and will play at Loyola Marymount Saturday.