Free throws sink Pack

Free throws doomed the Nevada men’s basketball team Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Wolf Pack missed 18 shots from the line as Air Force held on for a 75-70 Mountain West win. It was the first time the Pack scored more than 70 points since Jan. 3 when they beat the Falcons, 80-62.

With the loss, Nevada falls to 8-19 overall and 4-11 in conference play. Air Force, meanwhile, improves to 13-14, 6-10.

Both teams came out hot in the first half, but the Pack held a 33-32 lead at halftime thanks to 10 points from D.J. Fenner. Nevada had one of its best shooting halves of the season hitting 12 of 21 (57.1 percent) of its shots from the floor.

Air Force, though, also had identical numbers from the floor but connected on one less free throw.

Nevada’s free-throw shooting, however, struggled from the opening tip as the Pack hit just 6 of 13 attempts in the first half and were 14 of 32 for the game.

Eric Cooper Jr. led Nevada with a game-high 20 points, while Fenner finished with 18 and Tyron Criswell added 12. Forward A.J. West netted his 13th double-double of the season as the junior tallied 11 points and 16 rebounds.

West grabbed seven offensive rebounds and in the process set the MW single season record with 105 in conference play from Boise State’s Ryan Watkins (2013-14), who had 104 last season.

Although West was solid from the floor, he missed 10 of his 15 free-throw attempts.

Zach Kocur and Marek Olesinski each scored 18 points to lead Air Force.

The Wolf Pack hosts San Jose State University (2-25, 0-15 MW) on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Pack women blow out Falcons

A complete team effort across the board led the University of Nevada women’s basketball team to a 74-42 Mountain West victory over Air Force Wednesday night at Lawlor Events Center.

Thanks to Wednesday’s victory, coach Jane Albright picked up career win No. 495, inching her closer to 500 career wins. Needing just five more to eclipse the milestone, tickets to the final Wolf Pack home game are set for $5.

After taking a 10-point lead into halftime, 36-26, the Pack (8-18, 4-11 MW) shot out of the gates in the second half and dominated in all facets of the game. Nevada shot 53.8 percent in the half and outscored the Falcons (2-25, 1-15 MW) 38-16, holding its opponent to a near season-low points allowed in a half. The Pack held Air Force to 14 points in the second half during its first meeting in Colorado Springs on Jan. 3.

Wolf Pack senior Mimi Mungedi racked up a game-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to post her 10th double-double of the season.

Nevada hits the road and looks to avenge an overtime loss from earlier this season at San Jose State this Saturday, Feb. 28 for a 2 p.m. tip.

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