LOGAN, Utah (AP) Darius Brown II hit a 3-pointer with five seconds to play, Ian Martinez scored 22 points and No. 22 Utah State secured its first outright Mountain West regular-season title with an 87-85 win over New Mexico on Saturday night.

“I don’t know how to describe them,” Utah State coach Danny Sprinkle. “This will never be done in Division I basketball again. You don’t return a point, assist, all that and you win a Mountain West championship, not at this level.”

The game was tied 84-all when Brown hit a 3-pointer for an 87-84 lead.

“I was ready to shoot it,” Brown said. “When the shot clock is going down, you’re comfortable because you know there’s nothing to do but shoot it. As soon as I touched it, I knew it was going in.”

New Mexico’s Jaelen House hit a free throw with two seconds to go.

Great Osobor had 21 points - his 12th 20-point game of the season - and Brown finished with 19 for Utah State (26-5, 14-4), which has been a member of the conference since 2013.

Mustapha Amzil led the Lobos (22-9, 10-8) with 18 points and Donovan Dent had 17.

New Mexico found its offense early and started the first 10 minutes shooting 70% from the field and 60% from 3-point range. New Mexico got it done largely inside with 14 of its first 16 points coming in the paint.

“It’s hard because they’re so big and athletic,” Sprinkle said. “They have great touch and it didn’t seem like they missed anything inside six feet tonight.”

The Lobos’ JT Toppin had 10 first-half points while Utah State struggled to keep the Lobos off the offensive boards. New Mexico’s Nelly Joseph had eight first-half rebounds, four of them offensive.

Amzil provided a lift off the bench with three consecutive 3-pointers.

New Mexico held Utah State to just two free throws in the final four minutes of the first half while scoring nine points of its own to take a 44-39 halftime lead.

Utah State started the the second half with a 13-4 run to pull ahead, but New Mexico got hot from outside and jumped back on top 65-59.

The student section rallied after words were exchanged between the front row and House during a timeout. Utah State responded with dunks from Osobor and Kalifa Sakho to help retake a slim lead.

“I thought our guys fought admirably. It was back and forth, and they just made one more play than we did,” New Mexico coach Richard Pitino.


Utah State earned its first outright Mountain West regular-season title in 11 years.

New Mexico ended its regular season losing three of its last four games and fell to a sixth-place tie with Colorado State.


Utah State will play the winner of eighth-seeded Wyoming against ninth-seeded Fresno State in the conference tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

New Mexico will play Air Force in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament on Tuesday.


This story has been corrected to show that New Mexico will face Air Force, not San Jose State, on Tuesday.


Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here. AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.