Mountain West Notebook: Air Force grounded by the shutdown
The biggest news around the Mountain West last week centered around the Air Force Academy, and its inability to play games because of the recent government shutdown.
The men’s and women’s basketball games against Fresno State were canceled with hopes of rescheduling.
The government shutdown ended on Monday, and Air Force teams were back at practice.
Air Force said it would try to reschedule the games as soon as possible.
“Athletics are a huge part of how we develop future officers,” Lt. Col. Allen Heritage said in an e-mail to the Washington Post last week. “They (sports) instill character traits that will serve these airmen well throughout their entire career.”
The only people working, according to Heritage, were people working in jobs related to national defense. Many Air Force athletic department employees are civilians, and thus couldn’t work during the government shutdown.
The shutdown was the first since 2013.
Troy Garnhart, Air Force sports information director for men’s basketball, said the schools and conference were still working toward a decision.
Big crowd at Nevada
The Nevada-Boise State game drew 11,164, the 11th-largest in school history. That number could fall with UNLV, Fresno State and San Diego State coming to town.
After the game, coach Eric Musselman went over and shook hands with members of the student section, and the players also made their way to thank the fans for their support.
If New Mexico’s arena is called “The Pit,” maybe Lawlor should be called “The Dungeon.”
Nevada is 28-1 in its last 29 home games (lost to Fresno) and is 32-2 in its last 34. The Pack is 39-4 at home under Musselman.
New Mexico star honored
New Mexico senior guard Antonio Jackson was named the Mountain West Player of the Week for his performances in wins against UNLV and San Diego State.
Jackson averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds a contest. He had a career-high 24 against San Diego State. He went 6-for-10 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. He had 17 points and five assists against UNLV.
He’s the first Lobo honored this year.
Herndon over 1,000
Wyoming senior forward Alan Herndon eclipsed the 1,000-point mark thanks to a 21-point effort in an 85-77 win over Utah State.
Herndon is the 37th player in Wyoming history to accomplish the feat. He joins current teammate Justin James in that club.
The Cowboys host Nevada Wednesday at 8 p.m. (ESPNU).
San Diego State, 3-4 in conference, has lost three straight games by a combined total of 11 points. The most recent was a 79-75 loss to New Mexico.
The Aztecs have lost four times this year after leading with five minutes or less left in regulation.
UNLV scored the game’s final 14 points to edge Colorado State on Saturday. It was UNLV’s fourth straight road win.
It was UNLV’s first win at CSU since 2011, and it snapped a six-game road skid against the Rams.
“I was really pleased with the effort, especially defensively down the stretch,” UNLV coach Marvin Menzies said.
UNLV is 3-0 in MW road games and 0-3 at home. How strange is that?
UNLV played at Fresno State on Tuesday night.
McDaniels makes presence felt
San Diego State freshman Jalen McDaniels, who scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebonds in 27 minutes against the Lobos, enjoyed his ninth double-figure scoring game and career-best sixth straight. In his last 11 games, he’s averaging 12.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and is shooting 68.9 percent from the floor. He has shot 50 percent or better in 12 straight games.
Reprimand for UNLV star
UNLV senior point guard Jordan Johnson has been issued a public reprimand in accordance with Mountain West Sportsmanship Rule 4.2-e and 4.4.5.
Johnson publicly criticized the officials following UNLV’s loss to New Mexico on Jan. 17.