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Vandals blow late lead

Free throws lift Aggies

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Jahmar Young made two free throws with 19 seconds remaining as New Mexico State rallied to beat Idaho 74-71 Thursday night.

Young finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds as the Aggies (9-9, 3-2 WAC) notched their first Western Athletic Conference victory at home this season.

Idaho (8-9, 2-2) led 69-64 with 3:25 to play after Luciano de Souza and Mac Hopson both sank 3-pointers.

De Souza’s dunk off a missed shot by teammate Kashif Watson put the Vandals up 72-71 with 20 seconds left but he fouled Young, who made both of his ensuing free throws.

Jonathan Gibson and Young each added foul shots in the final seconds to seal the victory.

“We did a lot of good things tonight, but I’m very disappointed in losing this game because it is a game we should have won,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “This is a game we have to find a way to win if we’re going to compete for the WAC title.”

Troy Gillenwater finished with 17 points for New Mexico State, while Wendell McKines added 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Terrence Simmons paced Idaho with 15 points.

Brandon Wiley gave Idaho its first lead of the second half at 61-59 on a layup with eight minutes remaining.

After the 3-pointers by De Souza and Hopson, the Aggies took a 70-69 lead behind Gillenwater’s four points and McKines’ basket off Hernst Laroche’s steal.

Watson missed the first free throw of a 1-and-1 opportunity with 18.1 seconds left and New Mexico State got the rebound, leading to Gibson’s foul shot for a 73-71 lead. Young capped the game’s scoring on a free throw with 1 second showing.

The Vandals lost Marvin Jefferson to a concussion suffered at practice.

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