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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mountain West Basketball Championships: Men's quarterfinal capsules

UNM takes on Boise State Friday; San Diego State, UNLV in first semifinal matchup

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sports@dailylobo.com

Updated 12:21 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — No. 20 New Mexico, the second seed, defeated seventh-seeded Fresno State 93-77 in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Championships Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The frontcourt duo of Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk combined for 42 points and 16 rebounds. Kendall Williams joined them in double figures, netting 17 points.

Fresno State’s Allen Huddleston had 18 points to pace the Bulldogs.

UNM will play Boise State in Friday’s 9:30 p.m. semifinal game.

~Thomas Romero-Salas

Boise State 75, Nevada 62
The Broncos captured a victory over Nevada in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Championships Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Broncos had three players in double figures: guard Anthony Drmic had 17 points, guard Derrick Marks recorded 16 and forward Ryan Watkins scored 16.

Guard Deonte Burton paced the Wolf Pack in scoring with a game-high 22 points.

~ Thomas Romero-Salas

San Diego State 73, Utah State 39
Regular-season champion San Diego State cruised into the Mountain West Basketball Championship semifinals with a victory over Utah State.

SDSU (28-3) held an opponent under 40 points for the fourth time this season.

The Aztecs led from start to finish, taking advantage early when Utah State missed its first nine shots. The Aggies made only five first-half field goals on 20 shots, trailed 36-15 at halftime, and ended the game hitting 12 of 41 from the field.

SDSU’s winning formula — scoring in transition — paid off again as the Aztecs scoring 22 points off 14 Aggie turnovers. SDSU also controlled the post with 40 points in the paint to USU’s 14.

The MW Player of the Year, SDSU guard Xavier Thames, led all scorers with 15 points, while forward Winston Shepard chipped in 13 points. All 11 Aztec players who played scored points, and SDSU finished 52.5 percent from the field (31 of 59).

Center Jarred Shaw tallied 14 points to lead Utah State (18-14).

San Diego State will play in Friday’s 7 p.m. MT semifinal against the UNLV.

~ J.R. Oppenheim

UNLV 71, Wyoming 67

Despite 10 field goals and 24 points from Wyoming guard Josh Adams, UNLV used a 17-4 run over six minutes in the second half to wear down the Cowboys then withheld a late rally.

Wyoming (18-14), playing without All-Mountain West first team forward Larry Nance Jr., stayed with UNLV until the midway point of the second half when UNLV began its comeback. The Cowboys lost Nance for the season to an ACL tear on Feb. 18.

UNLV (20-12) turned a 44-all game into 61-48 lead. Wyoming chipped away at that lead and eventually cut the margin to one with a Nathan Sobey 3-pointer and a Jerron Granberry traditional 3-point play. The Runnin’ Rebels, though, converted their foul shots down the stretch.

Guard Bryce Dejean-Jones finished with 22 points for UNLV, followed by forward Roscoe Smith with 18 and guard Deville Smith with 13.

Behind Adams, Granberry and guard Nathan Sobey netted 18 points apiece. Only four Wyoming players scored.

~ J.R. Oppenheim