Snell's early defense, late offense fuel Lobos' upset of No. 9 BYU


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Tony Snell hit three big shots down the stretch. Before that, he did a nice defensive number against the nation's top scorer.

Snell, a freshman, scored a career-high 16 points, including three huge 3-pointers in the final five minutes, helping New Mexico beat No. 9 Brigham Young 86-77 on Saturday.

"I just tried to play as hard as I can," Snell said. "Coach told me to be ready and shoot with confidence."

Snell also made things tough during the opening half for Jimmer Fredette, BYU's standout scorer. Fredette finished with 32 points, but with Snell in his face, he had just five through the first 17 minutes.

Lobos coach Steve Alford said the idea was to use Snell's rangy 6-foot-7-inch frame to wear down Fredette.

"Coach told me it was a big assignment for me," Snell said. "He told me to use my length and maybe that would bother him a little bit, and I just did my best. He's a great player. Oh, man. It was a hard assignment for me."

Kendall Williams, another New Mexico freshman, also had 16 points, and Drew Gordon scored 15, Dairese Gary had 14 points and 10 assists, and Phillip McDonald added 11 points for the Lobos (14-8, 3-4 Mountain West), who ended BYU's 10-game winning streak three days after the Cougars knocked off No. 4 San Diego State.

Fredette shot 12 of 26 from the field, including a 6-for-9 performance from 3-point range. But Snell did the defensive work early before Gary took the assignment in the second half, bumping Fredette and making him work to get open.

"Dairese Gary is a tough-minded kid," Fredette said. "He's going to battle. They did a good job. They did the same things that a lot of teams have done, just trying to be physical."

Brandon Davies scored 15 and Noah Hartsock had 10 for the Cougars (20-2, 6-1).

New Mexico's fans were charged up for BYU's final visit to The Pit for the foreseeable future, now that the Cougars are leaving the Mountain West next season.

They were able to enjoy this one by rushing the court afterward, capping a raucous afternoon. It was the highest-ranked team the Lobos took out since a 77-74 win over No. 3 Utah in 1998. It also marked the first time New Mexico has won three straight over BYU in 11 years.

■ No. 4 San Diego State 96, Wyoming 57 -- At San Diego, sophomore guard Chase Tapley scored a career-high 24 points, and the Aztecs made a school-record 17 3-pointers as they bounced back from a loss at No. 9 BYU to rout the Cowboys.

San Diego State (21-1, 6-1) quickly shook off the disappointment of its first loss, a 71-58 road defeat Wednesday night, when BYU's Jimmer Fredette scored 43 points. The Aztecs jumped to leads of 14-0 and 33-11 against the Cowboys.

Wyoming (8-13, 1-6) lost its fifth straight. Desmar Jackson had 19 points and JayDee Luster 10.

The Aztecs put it away in the opening minutes.

Forward Billy White, a former Green Valley High School standout, made the first two baskets, including a layup four seconds after the opening tip and an alley-oop slam on a pass from Tapley for a 14-0 lead less than four minutes in. San Diego State made its first six shots, while Wyoming missed its first four, had two turnovers and had two shots blocked by Malcolm Thomas.

■ Colorado State 74, Utah 68 -- At Salt Lake City, Andy Ogide scored a career-high 28 points to go with 10 rebounds, powering the Rams past the Utes.

Colorado State (15-6, 5-2) won for the fourth time in its last five games. Will Clyburn scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half for Utah (10-11, 3-4), which had its three-game win streak snapped.

■ Air Force 66, Texas Christian 65 -- At Fort Worth, Texas, Taylor Stewart's layup with 15 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Falcons a win over the Horned Frogs (10-13, 1-7).

Derek Brooks led Air Force (12-8, 3-4) with 18 points.

 

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