Feb. 1, 1998
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Royce Olney hit a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left, capping No. 14 New Mexico's late rally and sending No. 3 Utah to its first loss of the season, 77-74 Sunday.
Utah, the nation's last remaining unbeaten major college team, had one final chance to force overtime. Drew Hansen's 3-pointer swished through, but the officials ruled the ball had not left his hands when the clock expired.
New Mexico (16-3, 6-1 Western Athletic Conference) overcame a 73-67 deficit in the final 1:27. The Lobos extended their home winning streak to 38 games, second in the nation to Kansas' 57 in a row.
Utah (18-1, 6-1) had its school-record winning streak ended at 18.
Olney finished with 22 points. He hit 6 of 7 3-pointers, including his game-winner from 21 feet.
For most of the game, it appeared the Utes, the last team to beat New Mexico in Albuquerque, would end the Lobos' winning streak that dates back to Jan. 27, 1996.
Led by the brilliant shooting and court leadership of point guard Andre Miller, the Utes opened up a 42-29 lead on Michael Doleac's short hook early in the second half.
Miller, who hit 10 of 12 shots, scored 24 points. Time and again he kept the Utes in front, giving Utah a 73-67 lead with 1:27 left with two free throws.
But by then, New Mexico's strategy to go to a full court press in the final minutes had started to take its toll on the Utes and their lead.
Olney hit two free throws to cut the deficit to 73-69, then stole the ball from Miller on the ensuing inbounds pass. Instead of going in for a layup, Olney backed up behind the 3-point line and from the baseline with 1:03 remaining.
Two free throws by Kenny Thomas with 22 seconds left gave New Mexico a 74-73 lead - its first of the day.
New Mexico then fouled Utah forward Alex Jensen with 14 seconds left. With an standing-room only crowd of 18,018 providing a deafening roar, Jensen missed the first free throw, but made the second for the tie.
Olney then took over, dribbled past midcourt, pulled up and hit the biggest shot of his career.