Saint Mary's responds to NCAA snub with NIT win

Published Mar. 16, 2016 2:29 a.m. ET

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) Joe Rahon scored 14 points and hit two free throws with 1.5 seconds left to help Saint Mary's advance to the NIT second round with a 58-56 victory over New Mexico State Tuesday night.

New Mexico State pulled to 56-52 with 2:32 left but missed 3-pointers on its next two possessions and Ian Baker's floater in the lane rolled out with 36 seconds left.

Saint Mary's turned it over on an inbound play with 27.6 seconds left. After a time out, Baker drove the lane and made a layup to cut New Mexico State's deficit to 56-54 with 22.6 seconds left.

The Gaels turned it over again, but the Aggies' 3-pointer and put-back attempt were off the mark. Then Dane Pineau missed the front end of a 1-and-1 for Saint Mary's with 12.6 seconds left.

Tanveer Bhullar scored on a scoop shot with 2.1 seconds left to tie it at 56-all. Rahon was inadvertently fouled in the backcourt and he hit two free throws to give Saint Mary's (28-5) the win.

WAC player of the year Pascal Siakam led New Mexico State (23-11) with 19 points and 14 rebounds.