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HUTCHINSON, Kan. – New Mexico Junior College blew an 11-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation at the NJCAA men’s tournament Tuesday and lost 88-87 in overtime to Northwest Florida.
New Mexico led 42-25 at the half, but Northwest Florida won the second half 50-33 to produce a 75-75 tie, then outbattled New Mexico 13-12 in the overtime.
Chris Jones led Northwest Florida with 27 points, and Elgin Cook added 23 points.
Desmond Lee led New Mexico with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Dekabriean Eldridge added 18 points and 8 rebounds.
New Mexico took its 17-point halftime length behind 7-of-15 three-pointers to just 2-of-11 for Northwest Florida. The second half, New Mexico made 4-of-10 three-pointers while Northwest Florida was knocking down 9-of-21.
New Mexico committed 19 turnovers – six of them by Lee — to 11 for NW Florida, whose Lamin Fulton was credited with five steals. Jones committed 6 of NW Florida’s turnovers.
New Mexico lost despite winning the rebound battle 58-48.
Under the new single-elimination format, New Mexico now heads home. Half of the 24 teams in the field have been eliminated after two days.