MWC Basketball Quick Hitters: Tuesday January 16th Results

MWC Basketball Quick Hitters: Tuesday January 16th Results

The Lobos win over No. 16 Utah State may highlight a wonderful night of hoops in the Mountain West.

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Overtime in Colorado, a California clash, the nation’s longest winning streak gone & No. 16 Utah State gets first MWC loss.

Mountain West Action was in full effect Tuesday night. Full of storylines, quad 1 wins & plain old conference fun. The conference has a chance, no matter how small at sending six teams to the big dance in a couple of months. It’s far fetched & sending 5 teams (last done in 2013) would be considered huge progress, but hope keeps fanbases alive this time of year right? And fans were treated to some pretty riveting games from the Rocky Mountains to the West Coast.

Even as wins for some can be considered resume boosting & losses for others considered resume blotches this time of year. The Mountain West is a gauntlet & if you hope to survive, you bring your A game.

Colorado State 78, Air Force 69

In-state matchups seemed to be all the rage in the Mountain West on Tuesday night. As a struggling Colorado State team who was coming off of two straight losses after having one of the more impressive non-conference performances welcomed southern conference foes Air Force.

The Falcons like have elevated their competitiveness under Joe Scott. With three players averaging 15+ points a game & having all-conference caliber seasons. But they’ve done so in a Mountain West that has elevated it’s competitiveness as a whole.

Tuesday night inside Moby arena was yet another testament to how tough the Mountain West is year in and year out it seems. As the Rams were likely looking forward to sleeping in their own beds tonight after a two game road trip. But the Falcons forced Colorado State into overtime on their home court. Though, Niko Medved’s group managed to dominate their opponent in overtime (14-5). Giving them the 78-69 victory, no matter how ugly it was.

Joe Scott’s team shot an impressive 10-22 (45%) from beyond the arc, led by Ethan Taylor (18 points, 5-11 3FG) & Beau Becker (18 points, 4-8 3FG). With Colorado State nearly matching them with 10-24 (41%) but the x-factor as proclaimed by his Head Coach, being Joe Palmer off of the bench with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, a key block & shooting 3-6 from deep.

Fresno State 85, San Jose State 82 (Click For Recap)

The Bulldogs & Spartans may find themselves towards the bottom of one of the more competitive Mountain West Conferences in recent memory. But it doesn’t mean they can’t treat the fans inside the Save Mart Center to a fun in-state clash on a Tuesday night right?

Tim Miles continues to make the Spartans a respectable & competitive team in year three in the Bay Area. While now sixth year Bulldog Head Coach Justin Hutson still seeks stability in the Central Valley. As they met on the court neither squad backed down on Tuesday night.

Instead they kept things close & an Isaiah Hill buzzer beater was needed to seal the deal, giving Fresno State’s their first conference win of the year. A 30-point night from Tibet Gorener wasn’t enough to lift his team to the win on the road, even if he made 7-9 3-pointers. On the other side of the court, super senior Isaiah Hill’s 24 points, 9 assists with no turnovers & 5-8 three pointers gave himself a new season high in scoring & his team a much needed win.

UNLV 68, Boise State 64

The Runnin’ Rebels walked into the fortress known as ExtraMile Arena in Boise. The Broncos have managed to turn their home court into a topic of discussion by national media. The largest winning streak in the nation, twenty-two games at home was on the line for Boise State. For UNLV it was another chance to prove how tough this conference truly is.

Kevin Kruger’s group did their job, taking an undefeated (in conference play) Boise State team down to the wire to put an end to that Bronco fairytale. Twenty-four points from Tyson Degenhart wasn’t enough to keep the W in Boise. Leon Rice’s team needs to stay focused & avoid a dip in conference play, like others have done this far. Tuesday night may be the wake up call they need before they face San Diego State on Saturday on national television.

While UNLV was led by junior college transfer Robert Whaley Jr., who has taken some time to acclimate to the D-I game. Maybe he’s acclimated, as Whaley Jr. dropped 18 points on 8-11 shooting tonight. The Runnin’ Rebels have taken some tough losses thus far and handed them out jus the same. Don’t worry about their place in the current standings just yet, with plenty of basketball to still be played & weapons galore.

New Mexico 99, No. 16 Utah State

The Lobos looked like the team media all across the country were high on to in the preseason Tuesday night. Handing No. 16 Utah State their first conference loss and ending a seven game losing streak to the Aggies in the process. Danny Sprinkle’s group never gave up and had 5 players in double figures by the nights end.

As I said on Twi..whoops I mean X, Utah State didn’t have a bad game, far from it. The Lobos simply had a better one in front of 13,000 fans on a Tuesday night for a 8:45 PM tip-off. New Mexico had 6 players in double figures & were led by a double-double from Donovan Dent (15 points & 14 assists, just 1 turnover) & a breakout performance from Nelly Junior-Joseph (26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 steals on 91% shooting from the floor).

Ian Martinez had a huge second-half, which included 14 points & a 11-0 run of consecutive made three pointers & an acrobatic layup to shrink what had turned into a 20-point Lobo lead with more than half of the game left to play. If not for him, a respectable 13-point loss inside one of the toughest opposing arenas to walk into in the country, could have turned into a nationally televised blowout.

Current MWC Standings

1-No. 16 Utah State 4-1, 16-2

2-Boise State 3-1, 12-5

3-San Diego State 3-1 14-3

4-New Mexico 3-2, 15-3

5-Nevada 2-1, 15-2

6-Wyoming 2-2, 9-8

7-Colorado State 2-2, 13-3

8-UNLV 2-2, 9-7

9-Fresno State 1-3, 8-9

10-San Jose State 1-4, 8-10

11-Air Force 0-4, 7-9

Larry Muniz covers college basketball as a writer for Mountain West Wire and WAC Hoops Digest. Also as a co-host of the college basketball podcast “Hoops Talk W/Jay & Larry”. He is also a USWBA Member.

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire