Nevada wins WAC with 65-61 win over New Mexico St.
Ryan Summerlin March 2, 2012
RENO, Nev. (AP) – Olek Czyz scored 15 points and Malik Story 14 as Nevada held off New Mexico State 65-61 Thursday night to clinch the Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship.
Dario Hunt added 10 points for the Wolf Pack (24-5, 12-1), who will carry the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament in Las Vegas. The conference title is their first since they shared it with three other teams in the 2007-2008 season.
Wendell McKines had 19 points and 13 rebounds for New Mexico State (22-9, 9-4), which had its five-game winning streak snapped.
The Wolf Pack led 63-54 with 3:02 remaining before the Aggies reeled off seven straight points. Bandja Sy hit a 3-pointer from the corner then scored on a breakaway dunk after a steal on the ensuing possession to make it 63-59. Another dunk by Daniel Mullings with 56 seconds left made it 63-61.
Nevada’s Deonte Burton missed a desperation 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down, giving New Mexico State a chance to tie or take the lead on its last possession. But Hernst Laroche’s pass went out of bounds with 1.1 seconds left, giving the ball back to Nevada.
Burton was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to put the game away.
Nevada hit 7 of 16 3-point attempts and shot 43 percent overall from the floor. New Mexico State shot just 34 percent.