Needlessly hard shove sparks near melee after Boise State's win over New Mexico

New Mexico forward Joe Furstinger, left, celebrates with guard Dane Kuiper late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Air Force late, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at Air Force Academy, Colo. New Mexico won 74-67. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Squandering a six-point lead in the final minute wasn’t the only inexcusable mistake New Mexico made against Boise State on Tuesday night.

The frustrated Lobos also provoked a scrum at the end of their 73-71 loss to the visiting Broncos.

When New Mexico’s Anthony Mathis missed a potential game-tying layup at the end of regulation, Boise State’s Marcus Dickinson snared the rebound with just a tick or two left in the game. New Mexico forward Joe Furstinger rushed at Dickinson in an apparent attempt to foul him while there was still time on the clock, but he caught him after the buzzer with a needlessly hard two-handed shove to the neck.

While Dickinson was still picking himself off the court, teammate Justinian Jessup retaliated on his behalf by sending Furstinger stumbling backward with a shove of his own. Players on both benches subsequently rushed onto the court and formed a scrum until referees, coaches and security staff managed to break it up.

“What happened at the end of the game was completely unacceptable,” New Mexico coach Paul Weir told reporters in Albuquerque after the game. “I apologize to fans, to the Mountain West, to Boise State University, their whole staff, their program. I didn’t see everything that happened, but just completely unacceptable behavior. I am sick about it, as sick as I am about the game. That’s really not how a game like this should end.

“I hope that’s not indicative of our institution or this program. That was just uncalled for on a lot of levels and I’m extremely disappointed about it.”

The Mountain West office will likely review the incident on Wednesday before issuing some kind of punishment. It would be a surprise if Furstinger didn’t receive at least a one-game suspension. Jessup could also be at risk of a penalty that he escalated the situation with his retaliation.

The postgame incident overshadowed a Boise State victory as improbable as any the Broncos have had this season. They cemented their hold on second place in the Mountain West by rallying from 13 down in the second half and scoring 10 of the game’s final 11 points to steal the victory.

The wheels really began coming off for New Mexico with about a minute remaining and the Lobos holding a 71-65 lead. Back-to-back turnovers set up a Chris Sengfelder 3-pointer and a Chandler Hutchison breakaway dunk, trimming the margin to 71-70 with 22 seconds left.

When Boise State went to a full-court press on the ensuing inbound pass, Mathis lost the ball in the lane under the Broncos’ basket and it went right to Hutchison for an uncontested layup. Boise State then survived a pair of New Mexico possessions sandwiched around a Jessup free throw to claim victory.

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Jeff Eisenberg is a college basketball writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!