Wednesday night’s Mountain West schedule featured four games that included six of the top seven teams in the standings so far. Here’s what we saw in last night’s action.
Boise State defense stifles New Mexico
A win over New Mexico is nothing to get excited about. The Lobos are bad, and will almost assuredly finish towards the bottom of the standings. However, utterly dominating and winning by 28 shows just how good Boise State can be when they’re on their game.
When the Broncos are locked in on the defensive end like they were tonight, they’re among the best in the country on that side of the ball. They held New Mexico to 22-63 (34.9%) shooting from the floor, and the Lobos were just 6-27 from distance. Following the win, the Broncos sit at No. 27 in adjusted defensive efficiency on Kenpom. Nevada might have the league’s best offense, but the same can probably be said for Boise State’s defense. Their matchup on January 20 is going to be appointment viewing.
Fresno State collapses, loses in OT
With less than five minutes to go, Fresno State was well on its way to picking up its second straight conference win. They led by 10, and had started to pull away in the latter part of the second half. That lead quickly evaporated. The Bulldogs went scoreless in the final four minutes of regulation, and Utah State rallied to force overtime.
In the extra frame, the Aggies carried their momentum to an 81-79 victory. For Fresno State, a 1-2 start already has them on the outside looking in regarding the conference race. Also, it showed that every night is going to be a battle when you go on the road.
Through 13 Mountain West conference games, the home team is 10-3. League continues to show just how tough it is to win on the road. Utah State just upset Fresno State in Logan.— Eli Boettger (@boettger_eli) January 4, 2018
Great win for a Utah State team that desperately needed one, and a brutal collapse for a Fresno State team that has its work cut out.
Fresno State is getting LIT UP by their coach right now. You can hear it quite well in the press room. Caused Koby to kind of pause during his post-game interview.— Daniel Hansen (@TheGrandDanny) January 4, 2018
UNLV survives a scare at San Jose State
The Rebels opened up conference play with a disappointing home loss to Boise State. On Wednesday night, they were in jeopardy of starting off with a 0-2 start. UNLV needed overtime to survive what would have been a brutal loss to San Jose State.
It goes down as a win, but the early returns on UNLV’s potential as a contender in the league have not been promising. They turned the ball over 21 times last night, and their loss to Boise State featured an anemic shooting performance from the perimeter. With each passing day, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Boise State and Nevada are a cut above the rest of the league.
Boise State 90, New Mexico 62
Utah State 81, Fresno State 79 (OT)
Nevada 92, Wyoming 83
UNLV 82, San Jose State 76 (OT)