ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- 'The Pit' claimed another victim Saturday night.
Hunter Greene knocked away Sean Elliott's shot with five seconds left Saturday night to preserve a New Mexico lead and give the Lobos a 61-59 victory over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Arizona.
The Lobos, 12-3 on the season, improved to 10-0 this year at University Arena. Since 'The Pit' opened in 1966, New Mexico State is 285-72 at home, a winning percentage of .798.
On the winning play, Greene swatted the ball away from Elliott as the Arizona forward launched a 3-pointer. Craig McMillan recovered the loose ball and threw up an off-balance try that missed at the buzzer.
'If there is such a thing as mentally tough, this is it,' said Greene, who spent most of Friday in bed with a high temperature. 'But now we're undefeated in 1988 and this gives us a big boost for the rest of the season.'
Both Greene and Elliott agreed the block, officially listed as a steal since it came from behind, was a clean one.
Arizona dropped to 12-1 on the season.
'You can't go undefeated these days, it's ridiculous to think that way,' said Elliott, who scored a game-high 27 points. 'But still the loss stings.'
Arizona, which trailed all the way, had itself to blame. Aside from Elliott, no Wildcat had a good shooting game. The team shot only 38 percent from the floor, its worst effort of the season.
The Wildcats were only 5 of 21 from 3-point range. They came into the game shooting 52 percent from 3-point distance.
'Their defense was susceptible to the outside shot but we didn't make them,' said Steve Kerr, who was 3 of 10 on 3-pointers. 'You can't count on last-second shots. The key thing was they jumped out at the start and we didn't hit.'
Said Arizona Coach Lute Olson: 'The No. 1 thing doesn't mean that much, it was just important for Arizona to get national recognition. But I think it's good to not be in a position where you're undefeated and have to play with the pressure of being undefeated.'
New Mexico twice missed the front end of one-and-one opportunities in the last 21 seconds.
After the first miss by Rob Robbins, Arizona got a quick break but a 3-point try by McMillan with 12 seconds left missed.
Arizona then fouled Rob Loeffel with nine seconds to go. The 7-footer was short on his first free throw, giving Arizona the final chance.
Jimmy Rogers, a reserve guard, had 15 points for New Mexico. Darrell McGee added 13.
New Mexico took control at the start of the game as Arizona made only one of its first six shots and the Lobos had an early 9-2 lead.
The Wildcats continued shooting poorly, and New Mexico steadily pulled away to as much as a 16-point lead, at 25-9 with 9:36 to play in the half. The Lobos were up 29-15 when Charlie Thomas, their leading rebounder, left with his third foul and 7:18 to go.
Arizona began to shoot better while New Mexico's offense wasn't nearly as proficient without Thomas. The Wildcats got as close as 35-30 with one minute to play before halftime. The Lobos led 37-30 at the break.
It marked the first time this season that Arizona trailed at halftime.