We've been in so many close games that haven't gone out way, it's nice to have one go our way. We had a lot of guys do some really great things. We really struggled at the end of the game but we hung on to win. —Utah State coach Stew Morrill
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For Utah State coach Stew Morrill, the Pit has been more a place of horrors then the center of a sweet fruit.
But Saturday, in Morrill's final appearance here, the Aggies handed him a tasty 63-60 win over New Mexico.
"It's a great way to go out," he said. "I've gotten my butt kicked here many times. It's pretty special, pretty fun. It's one I'll remember for sure."
It didn't start out looking that way as the Aggies (13-10, 6-5 Mountain West) fell behind 19-10 before beginning to rally.
"We didn't start the game well and we got on them hard because there were just too many mistakes being made," Morrill said. "We recovered and gave ourselves a chance."
Jalen Moore had 19 points, one of four Aggies in double figures, and Darius Perkins hit a key 3-pointer late to spark the victory.
Perkin's 3 with 2:50 left caromed high off the side of the rim, kissed the backboard and dropped in for a 61-55 Aggies lead.
"You have to get a little lucky on the road, too," Morrill said with a grin. "A bounce up and go in. That's the nature of winning on the road. You have to have some good fortune. And we've had some not go our way. And that one, I don't know, that was a great shot."
Utah State still had to survive four Lobos' 3-pointers in the final minute to hold on.
"We didn't execute down the stretch as a group," New Mexico coach Craig Neal said. "We had some opportunities but we didn't finish plays. But that's part of the game."
"We've been in so many close games that haven't gone out way, it's nice to have one go our way," Morrill said. "We had a lot of guys do some really great things. We really struggled at the end of the game but we hung on to win."
Chris Smith, who finished with 13 points, hit consecutive 3-pointers in the last minute of the first half to pull the Aggies all the way back from that early hole for a 33-30 advantage at the break that they never relinquished.
The Aggies used a 6-0 run to go up 56-46 lead with eight minutes left, but New Mexico (14-9, 6-5) responded with a 9-1 run behind eight points from Deshawn Delaney to pull within 57-55 with 4:17 remaining.
With two minutes left, Greenwood hit a 3 to get the Lobos within 63-60, but it was just their third bucket from behind the arc. Utah State ended up 7 of 23 on 3-pointers.
Obij Aget scored 10 with 11 rebounds to lead New Mexico. It's the first time the sophomore has been the team's top scorer, but six of his points came in the game's first six minutes.
David Collette added a double-double for Utah State with 10 points and 12 boards, while adding four assists and four blocks.