Roman Andrade made four of four foul shots and teammate Kelvin Franklin hit both of his free throws over the final 30 seconds Saturday night to seal New Mexico Highlands’ 76-73 road victory over Colorado School of Mines.
NMHU improved to 8-5 overall and 2-3 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play while also snapping a two-game slide.
Chris Dunn had tied the contest at 67-67, also via two free throws, with 2:13 left. A couple possessions later, Chop Tang knocked down a three-pointer.
Sean Armstrong drew a foul and got Mines back within 70-69 by hitting two from the charity stripe with 28 seconds left.
But the Orediggers were then forced to foul Andrade, one of the league’s better shooters. And the NMHU senior — who finished with 18 points and was eight for eight from the line — came through for the Cowboys.
Tang led Highlands with a game-high 20 points and six rebounds, and Mindaugas Markevicius had 10 points.
Four Orediggers reached double-digit scoring: Gordon Galloway and Sean Armstrong both had 18; Brett Green had 16 and Dale Minschwaner added 13 to go with nine rebounds and five assists before fouling out.
Mines (5-8, 2-3) shot better than 50 percent in the first half, going ahead by as much as 12 points — 36-24 with 4:46 left in the period. The Orediggers led 38-32 at halftime.
Minschwaner, a 6-6 sophomore post, played his prep ball at Sandia Prep in Albuquerque. He was part of the North-South All-Star game two years ago in Las Vegas.
One night earlier, Andrade had scored 23 and Tang 10 in the Cowboys’ 65-61 loss at Colorado Christian (3-7, 2-2) in Lakewood, Colo.
Neither team shot well in the contest, but the Cowboys were particularly rusty with a 33 percent field-goal accuracy, while the Cougars were not much better (36 percent).
Saddled with foul trouble, the Cowboys lost the rebounding battle 42-34 with Tyler House and Jobi Wall combining for 22. One saving grace? NMHU made 22 of 24 free throws.