ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has been waiting all season for this Hugh Greenwood to show up: The Greenwood who can bomb from the outside, unclogging the interior.
That Greenwood finally showed up Tuesday with five 3-pointers and a 20-point night that more than doubled his season high to help the Lobos to an 84-75 victory over Boise State.
"I think we've always expected that when we started the season for him to shoot the ball that well," said New Mexico coach Craig Neal. "I think he's been so instrumental in trying to get our team together, chemistry wise."
But with an injured right wrist that kept him out of two games and hampered him in a handful others, Greenwood was not stepping up and shooting with his usual aplomb.
"He's passed up shots in the past," Neal said. "But I think he played really free tonight. He played the way I envisioned him playing. I think he can make shots like that."
Perhaps his biggest moment came with eight minutes remaining when the Broncos (13-6, 3-3 Mountain West) had trimmed a 32-15 New Mexico (14-4, 5-1) lead in the first half to 66-59.
Greenwood's 3-pointer from the wing restored the lead to 10 points.
"He was terrific tonight and made some big shots," Neal said.
Boise State did not set out to force Greenwood to make shots, Broncos coach Leon Rice said.
"He always plays good against us," he said. "He's a good shooter. We know that. We didn't try to leave him open. We weren't daring him."
With Greenwood hitting from the outside, and fellow guard Kendall Williams also effective with 18 points, it opened up the inside for Cameron Bairstow, who had 17, and Alex Kirk, who added 15.
"I thought New Mexico did a great job," Rice said. "They were really, really efficient offensively. And they went inside, outside the right amount. They were just really, really hard to guard."
Boise State was able to get back into the game in the second half behind Derrick Marks, who had 13 of his 19 in the second half, and Ryan Watkins, who had nine of his 15 in the second and grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds.
"He played a terrific game," Neal said of Watkins. "I was really impressed with the game he played."
In the end, however, New Mexico's early lead was too much to overcome.
"I thought we got off to a great start and they really didn't have an answer for us in the first half," Neal said.
That's pretty much the way Rice saw it, as well.
"The hole we dug against them was too big and we couldn't get any stops," he said.