DENVER (AP) — Royce O’Neale had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists to lead Denver to a 66-60 victory against New Mexico State on Saturday.
Brett Olson and Chris Udofia added 13 points each for the Pioneers (19-8, 14-2 Western Athletic), who won their eighth straight game and inched closer to clinching the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Bandja Sy had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Sim Bhullar 17 points and four blocks for the Aggies (19-10, 12-4).
After O’Neale’s two free throws gave Denver a 57-54 advantage with 1:22 remaining, Sy turned the ball over. At the other end, Chase Hallum drilled a 3-pointer for Denver.
Sy responded with a basket from behind the arc to make it 60-57 with 37 seconds left, but with New Mexico State forced to foul, the Pioneers protected the lead by going 6 for 6 from the free-throw line down the stretch.
Denver is two games in front of third-place New Mexico State in the WAC standings, with two conference games to play. The schools split their two meetings this season.