Mountain West Notebook: Wyoming goes 3 OTs for 2 wins
Wyoming had to put in a little extra work to get a sweep this past weekend.
The Cowboys started their week with a 104-103 double-overtime upset of 23rd-ranked Nevada in Laramie, and then surprisingly enough, had to go one overtime to edge San Jose State, 90-86, at the Event Center in San Jose.
The two wins got Wyoming to 5-3 in conference play, and put the Cowboys in good shape to possibly get a first-round bye at the MW Championships in early March.
The win over Nevada was huge as it knocked the Pack from its unbeaten status.
“It speaks volumes about our conference and how tough it is playing on the road no matter how much you are up or down,” Wyoming coach Allen Edwards said. “Our guys have shown good character by being able to withstand punches from our opponents and finding a way to win.
“They are tough at home. I’m just glad we got the opportunity to get one on the road. You always try to find a bright spot when you get a win on the road. We found a way to win despite some players maybe having their worst game games of the season.”
LOBOS ON A ROLL
New Mexico made it three straight with its weekend win over Colorado State. The Lobos are making a bid for a finish in the top four.
“I was scared about this game all week,” UNM coach Paul Weir said. “They play well on the road. They got Wyoming on the road and they got Utah State on the road. They are a gritty team. We know what it’s like to come in a couple of men down. They came in a couple of men down.”
Prentiss Nixon and J.D. Paige both missed the game for CSU.
Still, CSU gave the Lobos all they wanted.
“We talked during the entire game that we had to be the tougher team,” Weir said. “Being the tougher team against Colorado State is difficult sometimes. They are such a gritty job.”
WYOMING STAR HONORED
Justin James was named the MW Player of the Week after leading the Cowboys to wins over Nevada and SJSU.
James averaged 33 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game for the week. He had a career-best 33 against Nevada, and tied that mark against the Spartans. Against SJSU, he had nine of Wyoming’s 13 points. He shot 59.5 percent from the field for the week.
UNLV snapped two lengthy losing streaks with its win at home against San Diego State over the weekend.
The UNLV win snapped a seven-game home losing streak to the Aztecs, and the Aztecs’ 11-game win streak over UNLV.
“Great game, great effort,” UNLV coach Marvin Menzies said after the game. “I’m really proud of the guys. Happy for them to get the monkey off their back of the streak of losses against a phenomenal program that has been well-built and sustained over the years.
“I think that our guys can be so much better. The energy and effort was there tonight. There is so much they can learn, but they are buying in even more and more.”
The loss to UNLV was the first suffered by current SDSU stars Trey Kell and Malik Pope.
MW TOURNEY TICKETS ON SALE
Single-session tickets for the 2018 Mountain West Basketball Championships March 5-10 in Las Vegas go on sale starting Feb. 15.
The women’s tournament starts on Monday, March 5 and the men’s tournament begins Wednesday March 7. You can get tickets through one of the conference’s member institutions or by calling 1-866-388-3267. You can also purchase single-session tickets online at MWTickets.com. All-session tickets, which includes men’s and women’s games, are currently on sale.
Facebook will have coverage of first-round men’s games. All four quarterfinal games and the two semifinal games will be broadcast on CBS Sports Newtwork. The men’s title game will be shown on Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. on CBS.
Junior Jeremy Hemsley became the 32nd player in San Diego State history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.