Mountain West Notebook: UNLV stumbles at home vs. Boise State
Nevada Wolf Pack hosts Wyoming Cowboys on Wednesday
UNLV suffered a home loss against the Chandler Hutchison-led Boise State Broncos over the weekend.
Hutchison scored 32 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the 83-74 victory at Thomas & Mack.
The Rebels failed to shoot 50 percent from the floor for just the third time (in 14 games) this season.
“Obviously very disappointed with the outcome,” UNLV coach Marvin Menzies said after the game. “There are a lot of areas where we need to improve. But at the end of the day we got beat by a really good team that just out-toughed us in more than one area, especially from the rebounding side. We will try to make adjustments.”
Hard to imagine the Rebels getting “out-toughed” on the boards with 7-foot freshman Brandon McCoy and Shakur Juiston. The Rebels were among NCAA leaders in rebounding entering the game.
Team meeting helps
San Diego State Aztec star Malik Pope said the team meeting following the conference-opening loss to Wyoming helped immensely, and the Aztecs overpowered Utah State on Saturday.
“It definitely brings everybody together,” Pope said. “You talk and figure out where you went and messed up, so I feel like it helped us, definitely.”
“Good bounce back game for the Aztecs, getting over the disappointment of the Wyoming loss,” SDSU coach Brian Dutcher said. “I told the kids that life is 10 percent about what happens and 90 percent how you deal with it. We had two good days of practice, and we looked like it today when we played.”
Key number 23 for Spartans
San Jose State was bitten by the turnover last week in losses to Colorado State and Utah State.
The Spartans turned the ball over 23 times in each game, leading to one lopsided loss (Utah State) and one close loss (Colorado State).
Utah State turned 23 SJSU mistakes into 36 points. SJSU turned the ball over 14 times in the second half against CSU, enabling CSU to overcome two double-digit SJSU leads in the first half.
Finally a win away from Fort Collins
The Rams finally won a game away from home. The win over SJSU was the Rams’ first in eight attempts.
The win moved Larry Eustachy, who’s 10-0 against the Spartans, to within two wins of the legendary Stew Morrill for career wins at CSU.
Nevada remains the only MW team in Joe Lunardi’s ESPN Bracketology.
As it stands now, Nevada is a 9 seed playing No. 8 Michigan in San Diego. That would be a desirable destination, considering Nevada fans could easily attend, and coach Eric Musselman went to school at USD.
Nevada got 2 votes in the recent AP Top 25 poll despite two league wins, including a 15-point thumping of Fresno State.
Jerry Palm from CBSSports.com has Nevada as a No. 6 seed as of Dec. 15. The Wolf Pack would play No. 11 Clemson if that prediction holds up.
Palm has Boise State as a first 4 out team.
By the numbers
Nevada is currently ranked No. 2 in team offense and No. 4 in team defense in the most recent MW statistics…Caleb Martin leads the conference in scoring at 19 a game, and Jordan Caroline is third in rebounding at nine a game … Cody Martin and Lindsey Drew are 2-3 in assists at 4.1 and 3.9, respectively … Drew leads in turnover-assist ratio.
Chandler Hutchison, the preseason MW Player of the Year, led the Broncos to wins over Colorado State and UNLV last week.
He averaged 28 points and 7.5 rebounds a contest, scoring 24 vs. CSU and 32 against UNLV. Against the Rebels, he went 13-for-18 shooting.