ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Darington Hobson scored eight of his 29 points in overtime, including two free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining, to lift No. 15 New Mexico to a thrilling 88-86 victory over San Diego State on Saturday.
Hobson added 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season and the Lobos (21-3, 7-2) won their seventh straight to forge a three-way tie atop the Mountain West standings. After UNLV’s 88-74 win over BYU, New Mexico shares first place with the Rebels and Cougars.
The Aztecs (16-7, 5-4) erased a 66-56 deficit with 4 minutes to go, with D.J. Gay scoring 10 of his career-high 25 points in the final 2:01.
But with New Mexico leading 78-76, Gay was fouled on a 3-point try and could have won it in regulation. Instead, he made two of three free throws.
San Diego State hadn’t lost in overtime since 2005 — a run of nine straight overtime wins, the longest active streak in the country.
Blame Hobson for doing most of the damage. He added six assists and had three steals in 43 minutes, and he survived a physical contest where the Aztecs seemed to target him often.
Hobson got swatted in the eye in the first half. Early in the second half, he came out of a scrum under San Diego State’s basket limping and favoring his right leg as he fought off leg cramps.
Both times, Hobson was soon back in the game, collecting rebounds or dishing out assists. He zipped a pass to Roman Martinez for a basket, then came away with a rebound at the other end, starting a fast break that Phillip McDonald capped with a dunk.
That put New Mexico ahead 51-43 with 15:26 remaining. Hobson ended up on the floor again after San Diego State’s Kelvin Davis tried to strip him, but Hobson then swished a 12-foot jumper over Davis to give the Lobos a 53-43 lead.
The Lobos were firmly in control until Gay started shooting, hitting two 3-pointers and a jumper in the closing 2 minutes. But had his second of his three free throws fallen through, it would have been the Aztecs who left The Pit in a celebration.