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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Olekaibe scored 24 points and Greg Smith added 17 as Fresno State defeated New Mexico State 88-83 in overtime on Thursday night to snap a six-game conference losing streak.
Garrett Johnson also scored 17 points for Fresno State (9-12, 4-6 WAC), including a key 3-pointer in the final minute of regulation.
Troy Gillenwater scored 33 points for New Mexico State (12-12, 6-4), and Tyrone Watson added 14 on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.
Fresno State scored the first four points of overtime on a layup by Ned Golubovic and two free throws by Olekaibe. The Aggies never got within two points the rest of the way.
Two more free throws by Olekaibe with 35 seconds left clinched the Bulldogs’ first conference victory since they began WAC play 3-0.
Olekaibe finished 9 of 9 from the line coming off a career-high 29 points Saturday against San Jose State. The freshman guard also had four steals.
Fresno State failed to get off a shot in the final 15.8 seconds of regulation after Gillenwater sank one of two free throws to tie the game at 74-74.
Gillenwater, the WAC’s second-leading scorer behind San Jose State’s Adrian Oliver, went 11 of 20 from the field and 9 of 10 from the line.
Smith fouled out with 14:35 remaining. The Bulldogs’ second-leading scorer and leading rebounder played just 22 minutes.
New Mexico State went ahead 71-67 with 2:10 left in regulation on Gillenwater’s tip in following his third offensive rebound of the possession.
A free throw by the Aggies’ Hernst Laroche made it 72-67, but Olekaibe responded with a layup and two free throws on consecutive possessions to bring Fresno State within a point.
The Aggies didn’t take their first lead of the game until Hamidu Rahman converted a three-point play to put New Mexico State ahead 45-42 with 17:50 remaining.