Nevada obviously is not having much of a season, just 8-18 and 4-10 in the Mountain West Conference, but, still, it imploded like no other team in the conference has during the past five-plus seasons when losing at home to Wyoming.
The Wolf Pack allowed 13 points in the first half, the Cowboys hitting 6 of 23 shots (26.1%), including 1 of 12 beyond the 3-point line. Wyoming is third in the Mountain West in free throwing but was 0 of 5 there as well. The Cowboys appeared to be headed nowhere, scoring five points over the final 8 minutes of the first half. But that’s not what happened.
Nevada, up 14 at the break, fell apart in the second half. The Pack allowed 51 points, with Wyoming hitting 16 of 26 shots (61.5%) in the second half — including 5 of 8 on 3-pointers.
No one in the conference dating to 2010 had allowed an opponent to go from the teens in the first half to the 50s in the second.
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This season, 19 teams had scored less than 20 points in the first half of a conference game and only two even made it into the 40s in the second half. One stayed in the teens — San Jose State, no surprise there, went 17 and 19 in a loss at Boise State. Nine teams had scored in the 20s and six in the 30s.
New Mexico, which had one two-game skid last season and did not have any losing streaks in going 29-6 in 2012-13, has lost six in a row after dropping games to San Diego State and UNLV.
Both of those losses were at The Pit, where the Lobos are 9-5 and 4-4 in conference games, and the six-game losing streak matches their longest since the 1970-71 season.
New Mexico was visiting Boise State in a late Tuesday game.
‘D’ on Delaney
Deshawn Delaney is leading New Mexico at just under 12 points per game but was held to three in the 63-46 loss to San Diego State and didn’t make his lone basket until the 9:31 mark in the second half.
Delaney was 1 of 8 from the field and 1 of 4 at the free-throw line and has been pretty well throttled by the Aztecs, much more so than the other leading scorers from MW teams.
• Max Yon (Air Force) 13.4 ppg — 6 of 13, 15 points on road; DNP at home
• Derrick Marks (Boise State) 19.8 — 5 of 16, 19, at home
• J.J. Avila (Colorado State) 16.0 —12 of 16, 29 at home; 10 of 19, 24 on road
• Marvelle Harris (Fresno State) 17.2 — 9 of 16, 25 at home; 5 of 12, 13 on road
• A.J. West (Nevada) 12.8 — 5 of 19, 14 at home
• Deshawn Delaney (New Mexico) 12.2 — 1 of 5, 4 on road; 1 of 8, 3 at home
• Rashad Muhammad (San Jose State) 13.2 — 8 of 14, 27 at home
• Rashad Vaughn (UNLV) 17.8 — 6 of 16, 17 on road
• David Collette (Utah State) 12.8 — 2 of 6, 6 on road
• Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming) 16.3 — 8 of 14, 19 at home; DNP on road
UNLV freshman Rashad Vaughn had surgery Wednesday to repair meniscus in his left knee.
The timetable on a return for the 6-6 guard, the Rebels’ leading scorer at 17.8 points per game, is to be determined. It could be anywhere from three to six weeks.
Another bad beat
The Rebels dropped a seventh game by six or fewer points, losing 53-48 to Boise State on a night UNLV was honoring late coach Jerry Tarkanian.
The score was tied at 44 with 3 minutes to go, but the Rebels missed three 3-point attempts down the stretch as well as the front end of a 1-and-1. Their eight losses in conference play have come by an average of 3.9 points.
Bucking Bronco trend
The win at UNLV was the first by Boise State under coach Leon Rice when scoring fewer than 60 points, the Broncos 0-23 going into that game. It also was their first victory at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Of the Broncos’ four conference road wins, three have come at venues where the program previously had not won a game. They also got their first this season at Utah State and at New Mexico.
The Broncos play San Diego State at the Viejas Arena on Saturday, where they are 0-4 all-time.
Three not the charm
San Jose State fell to 0-14 in conference play in a 74-56 loss to San Diego State in which only three of the eight Spartans that played scored.
Rashad Muhammad led with 27 points, Darryl Gaynor II had 23 and Jaleel Williams had six.
The other five players went a combined 0 of 5 and none of the three that came off the bench even attempted a shot in a combined 22 minutes.
Is the 3 overrated?
Boise State won that game at UNLV hitting 1 of 18 shots at the 3-point line, but that isn’t the lowest shooting percentage from distance by a winning team in the conference this season. Nevada was 0 of 9 when beating San Jose State 60-57 back on Feb. 7.
Believe it or not, five of the past six teams to not hit a 3-pointer in a Mountain West game all won:
• Nevada at San Jose State, 0 of 9, won 60-57 on Feb. 7, 2015
• San Diego State vs. Colorado State, 0 of 10, won 65-56 on Feb. 1, 2014
• San Diego State vs. New Mexico, 0 of 9, won 51-48 on March 8, 2014
• Fresno State vs. Wyoming, 0 of 6, won 49-36 on Jan. 16, 2013
• Wyoming vs. Brigham Young, 0 of 15, lost 73-63 on Feb. 2, 2008
• San Diego State vs. Utah, 0 of 7, won 63-53 on Jan. 27, 2007
Putting an end to the ’80s
It was not a great week for Fresno State, obviously, with consecutive losses to Colorado State and at Utah State in which it allowed 81 and 85 points.
That is something even cellar-dwelling San Jose State has not done this season.
The 0-14 Spartans have been torched for 80 points twice in conference games, but not back-to-back.
Best news of the week
San Diego State guard Dwayne Polee II, who collapsed on the court in a Dec. 22 victory over UC Riverside, made his return in a victory at San Jose State.
The fifth-year senior entered at the 7:03 mark in the first half. He played 13 minutes, hitting 1 of 2 shots, a 3-pointer. He had one steal and a turnover, but as the bright spot in an otherwise desultory walkover between the first- and last-place teams that was close only until the Aztecs didn’t want it to be any longer.
“In the locker room, with the team, I talked about some of the things we didn’t do, should have done and talked about the nuts and bolts of the game,” coach Steve Fisher said. “Then I said to the team the most important thing about this game is that we get to welcome back Dwayne Polee II. I shook his hand, they cheered like crazy and Dwayne smiled.
“It was neat to get him home. He is back home on the basketball court. That is where he has been. It is where he has always wanted to be. For him to get back in two months and many, many doctors and lot of things that happened. I think (athletic trainer) Tom Abdenour and all the doctors that assisted deserve a huge thank you for the way they did their job.”
Polee, diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cardiac arrhythmia, was down for about 15 minutes after collapsing two months ago and was tended to by paramedics. He was able to resume light conditioning in late January and received clearance to resume full practice and play in games midweek. He was monitored before, during and after the game by a team physician.
“I’m just grateful for this opportunity to have this second chance to complete the season,” he was quoted by U-T San Diego. “I had a lot of positive people in my corner, my family, my girlfriend, my teammates, the coaches, the whole training staff and my Bible. I just stayed positive through the whole thing and that’s what got me through.”