2022 NCAA Tournament: Allen goes off as New Mexico State upsets Connecticut
Photo: Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

12th seed New Mexico State won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 1993 as the Aggies rode the hot hand of guard Teddy Allen to defeat fifth seed Connecticut 70-63 in the first round.

Allen set the KeyBank Arena record with 37 points, his fifth game of 30 or more points this season. He also grabbed six rebounds and was a perfect 13 of 13 from the free-throw line.

R.J. Cole was the high man for Connecticut (23-10), scoring 20 points. Adama Sanogo was the only other Huskies player in double figures with ten and eight rebounds.

Story of the game

Both defenses were locked in early as the score was just 2-2 after a little over five minutes. After a three-pointer by Jabari Rice, Connecticut went on a 12-3 run to go in front 12-8.

Allen then began to heat up as he score seven of New Mexico State's next eight points to give the Aggies a 15-14 lead. He scored or assisted on nine of the WAC champion's final 11 points of the half.

His assist on a triple by Johnny McCants as the shot clock expired gave New Mexico State a 30-20 advantage, their largest lead of the game to that point. The Aggies led 32-22 at the half.

Clayton Henry nailed a straightaway three 1:38 into the second half to stretch the lead to 38-24. A 14-4 run by Connecticut cut the Aggies' lead 42-38 with 12:28 remaining.

The teams went back and forth and Tyrese Martin's free throws with 5:08 left knotted the score at 52-52. A huge three by Henry put New Mexico State back in front, but the Huskies would tie things up on a layup by Isaiah Whaley.

Allen took over at that point.  He broke the tie for good by connecting on a three with 1:43 left. Two more free throw makes from Allen with 52 seconds to go answered a driving layup by R.J. Cole.

Teddy Allen of New Mexico State drives past Connecticut's R.J. Cole during the Aggies' first-round victory in the <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en-us/ncaa/2022/03/21/college-basketball/1105947-2022-ncaa-tournament-richmond-stuns-iowa-in-latest-march-madness-upset.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en-us/ncaa/2022/03/21/college-basketball/1105947-2022-ncaa-tournament-richmond-stuns-iowa-in-latest-march-madness-upset.html'>NCAA Tournament</a></strong>/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Teddy Allen of New Mexico State drives past Connecticut's R.J. Cole during the Aggies' first-round victory in the NCAA Tournament/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

His drive through traffic after forcing the Huskies' eighth turnover of the game that iced it. He twisted his way inside, hit a layup, got fouled and calmly nailed a free throw to complete his three-point play which pushed New Mexico State's lead to 66-60 with 27 seconds left.

Martin brought Connecticut a bit closer with a three with 18 seconds to play, but Allen sealed the game, hitting four free throws to send the Aggies into the second round.