Nevada defeats New Mexico; 97-94 in double overtime – The Nevada Sagebrush

Rachel Jackson / Nevada mugwort
Nevada basketball players celebrate their victory against the No. 25 team, the New Mexico Lobos. The team won in double overtime by three points

The Nevada Wolf Pack met New Mexico, the No. 25 men’s basketball team, with a win on Jan. 23, beating the Lobos 97-94 in a two-overtime thriller.

The Wolf Pack got off to a strong start to the first half, with Will Baker, Wolf Pack center, scoring the first five points of the game. From there, the team traded field goals with the Lobos, not allowing New Mexico to gain momentum in the first 10 minutes of the game. Nevada was able to stay in the game thanks to Baker, who had 13 points and two assists before being substituted.

After the 10-minute mark, the Lobos put on a 9-2 run and earned the first lead of the game. Both teams went head to head and traded baskets, with the Lobos holding a three-point lead in the final three minutes and 22 seconds of halftime. However, Nevada caught a hot streak in the last minute, starting with a 10-2 run powered by Wolf Pack guards Jarod Lucas and Kenan Blackshear and Nevada forward Tre Coleman.

After 20 minutes of play, The Wolf Pack were up 43-38.

Nevada slipped back from halftime. Like the Wolf Pack in the first half, the Lobos took control early in the second half and took the lead back two minutes into the quarter. The third back and forth followed, but the wolf pack couldn’t get more than a two-point lead during this time. At halftime of the second half the game was tied with both teams tied at 59.

Play would remain tight throughout the remainder of regulation, with Nevada and New Mexico scoring back-to-back goals. Toward the end of the game, the Wolfpack took the lead thanks to a field goal from Blackshear with 50 seconds left. In the end, the Lobos would ultimately respond with their own field goal from New Mexico guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. Both teams would end up missing their final shots, sending the game into overtime tied at 78.

The first overtime was a tug of war between the two teams. Both the Lobos and Wolf Pack opened the five-minute period with 3-point shots from Mashburn and Lucas, respectively. After that, New Mexico went on a nearly three-minute 6-1 run and went up by five with just a minute and 13 seconds left. Nevada didn’t give up. The Wolf Pack finished the game 15 seconds ahead thanks to a 3-point shot from Wolf Pack forward Darrion Williams, a five-second injury from New Mexico, and a field goal from Blackshear.

The Lobos would miss their last shot of the period, pushing the game into double overtime, with both teams tied at 87.

Double overtime was an engrossing free throw shootout as every point scored by either side came from free throws after the first 30 seconds. Nevada quickly took the lead thanks to Lucas going off the line 4-4 in that period. Still, New Mexico would make it a close game and tie it with 44 seconds left.

With 14 seconds left, New Mexico forward Morris Udeze committed a blatant foul, giving Nevada guard Daniel Foster two free throws, making just one and Nevada after that. Baker was fouled during Nevada’s last possession, making his two free throws and lined up the pack at three.

In the final possession of the game, New Mexico guard Jaelen House attempted a 3-point shot but was choked and missed by the Nevada defense. Lucas got the defensive rebound from that shot and sealed the game. After 50 minutes of play, Nevada won 97-94.

The energy in Lawlor was electric after the win.

With their victory, the Wolf Pack moves to 16-5 overall, 6-2 in conference play. The win also catapulted Nevada into second place in the Mountain West Conference, behind only San Diego State, which is 6-1. The team’s next game is on January 28, where the pack will face the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels in an away game.

Derek Raridon can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NevadaSagebrush.