New Mexico ends 4-game slide with 88-76 win over Nevada
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) After losing four-straight games and finishing last in the Diamond Head Classic last week in Hawaii, New Mexico's Elijah Brown and Tim Williams made sure it was not going to happen again. The two combined for 44 points Wednesday night to help the Lobos beat Nevada 88-76.
Five New Mexico players finished in double figures, led by 24 from Brown, who went 15-for-15 from the line, and Williams who scored 20 points in 25 minutes after missing 10 minutes of the second half with foul trouble. Obij Aget matched a career high with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Xavier Adams came off the bench to score a career-high 14 for the Lobos (8-6, 1-0 Mountain West).
Marqueze Coleman had 26 to lead the Wolf Pack (8-5, 0-1) and D.J. Fenner added 16.
After starting off 4-of-5 from the field, the Wolf Pack went more than 11 minutes without a basket, going 0-for-14, and were outscored 25-4 in that stretch as New Mexico took a 29-13 lead. The Lobos increased the lead to 42-24 after a dunk from Brown off a behind-the-back flip pass from Cullen Neal with 2:10 left in the half.
''We just didn't take care of the ball,'' said Nevada coach Eric Musselman. ''The inability to make open shots is problematical in basketball.''
New Mexico coach Craig Neal said he liked what he saw from his squad in the first half when the Lobos forced 11 turnovers.
''I thought for 10 to 15 minutes of the first half, we played at a high level,'' he said. ''We had some inconsistency with the maturity of my team.''
The Wolf Pack scored the final nine points before the break to trail 42-33 at halftime.
And that had New Mexico Craig Neal sweating a bit since the Lobos blew a 17-point lead in the first game of the losing streak.
''When we were up 18 and they cut it to eight then I got worried,'' he said. ''They just have to get tougher defensively when we have those little lulls.''
Nevada could get no closer than seven points during the second half as Brown was able to consistently drive the paint and get to the line, and Adams scored nine of his points in the second half after Williams went to the bench with his fourth foul.
''They're a talented team,'' Musselman said of New Mexico. ''They can make open shots. They can take foul shots. New Mexico by far was the better team tonight.''
TIP INS: Brown's 15 successful fouls shots without a miss is a school record.
In an unexpected move, little-used freshman center Nikola Scekic of Serbia left the Lobos shortly before game time. According to his Twitter account, he's seeking more playing time.
Nevada freshman Cameron Oliver, who entered the game leading the conference with 2.42 blocks, finished with four before fouling out with 7:54 left in the game. Fellow Wolf Pack starters Lindsey Drew and Elijah Foster also fouled out of the game.
Musselman coached Neal with the Rapid City Thrillers of the NBA D-League in 1993.
UP NEXT: New Mexico plays at Fresno on Saturday. Nevada is home against Wyoming on Saturday.