New Mexico rallies late to upset No. 9 BYUJan 30, 2011 - 12:38 AM Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Tony Snell hit a trio of three-pointers late in regulation and was one of five Lobos to finish in double figures, as New Mexico came alive in the second half to upset No. 9 BYU, 86-77.
New Mexico (15-7, 3-4 MWC) trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half and used a 12-point run to get back in the game.
Naismith Player of the Year front-runner Jimmer Fredette hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions for a 67-62 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left, but the Cougars went the next four minutes without a field goal.
The Lobos' subsequent 18-3 flurry -- highlighted by Snell's three trifectas -- changed the game completely, and the hosts finished it off to hand BYU (20-2, 6-1) its first Mountain West Conference loss.
Snell and Kendall Williams -- both freshman -- each scored 16 points, while Drew Gordon added 15 points and 12 rebounds in the resounding win.
"We've seen this coming all along. His whole thing is having the confidence that he can do it," New Mexico coach Steve Alford said of Snell. "We've seen him do well in practice, and that's why his minutes have gone up. We're going with the four-guard lineup that we've had success with in the past. We're a little bit more potent on offense and we're getting better on defense, and part of that was waiting for the maturation of Tony."
Fredette finished with 32 points but faltered down the stretch. He also handed out seven assists and pulled down five rebounds in the team's first loss since December 18.
"Our game plan was to go out and make it as tough as we can on them," Fredette said. "I made some tough shots and I made some plays but in the end they just made more plays than we did. They made more shots and we didn't do that so that's how they got the win. Steve Alford is a very defensive-minded coach."
The Cougars had rattled off 10 straight wins after falling to UCLA that day, a run culminated by Wednesday's 71-58 drubbing of previously unbeaten San Diego State.
They came out of the gate sluggish and neither team held a lead bigger than six in the first half.
The margin was 36-32 in favor of the visitors at the break and reached as high as ten following Jackson Emery's three-ball less than four minutes into the second half.
Then The Pit got into it, as Snell bookended a pivotal 12-point spurt with a three-pointer and layup, the latter coming with just over 11 minutes to play.
Williams' three-pointer a little later tied things at 57-all, and the freshman hit another one from long range to answer Fredette's 30-foot make.
Snell followed with a trey for the lead, and the Cougars suddenly hit a cold stretch, missing six straight shots from the field and hitting only 3-of-6 from the foul line over 4 1/2 minutes.
Snell fittingly capped the game-winning run with a trey for an 80-70 cushion with two minutes left, and the closest BYU got from there was seven.
In the last five meetings when BYU has been ranked, New Mexico has come away victorious, including twice last season...The Lobos have won two straight overall following a three-game skid...Fredette shot 12-of-26 from the field, including 6-of-9 from three-point range, for the Cougars, who got 15 points and eight rebounds from Brandon Davies...Dairese Gary logged 14 points and 10 assists for the Lobos, while Phillip McDonald rounded out their double-digit scorers with 11 points.
- BYU: 77
NEW MEXICO: 86
Jan 29 6:05 PM
- BYU: 36
NEW MEXICO: 32
Jan 29 4:53 PM
- BYU: 0
NEW MEXICO: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 29 4:07 PM
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