Friday, March 7, 2008

Last night's WAC happenings

New Mexico State didn't stumble -- heck they did a stomp -- but Boise State let a golden opportunity slip from its grasp and even LA TECH took a win in Thursday night WAC action.

Aggies roll past San Jose State at home
Felix Chavez
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — Fred Peete looks pretty comfortable in the point guard spot.

On Thursday night, the senior guard helped the Aggies offense operate in solid fashion in an 88-65 win against San Jose State at the Pan American Center.

Peete finished with a workman-like line of eight points, seven assists, seven boards and just one turnover in 33 minutes. He now has 40 assists and nine turnovers in the team's last six games.

"Fred has done a great job in running the team at the guard spot," forward Justin Hawkins said. "It's a position he likes being in and he's responded with good games."

Added Peete: "The guys have done a great job of finishing. I've been able to take care of the ball and everything has gone well the past few games."

New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies said the two have had several meetings recently to talk about his play at the point.

"Fred deserves all the credit for what's he's done," Menzies said. "He's focused, he's conscientious about how many assists and turnovers he has. He's comfortable in what's he's doing and he's getting everyone involved."

Thursday's game was a far cry from the 83-81 win the Aggies had in San Jose last month.

The Aggies controlled the action for the most part, outrebounding, outshooting and outworking the Spartans in improving to 18-13 overall and 11-4 in the Western Athletic Conference. San Jose State slips to 12-17 and 4-11...

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The Broncos had the stars and planets aligned but fell to USU:

'Sad, sad night' for Boise State men in loss to Utah State
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman
March 07, 2008

The Boise State men's basketball team couldn't win an outright WAC championship Thursday night because the Broncos couldn't make enough shots from behind the 3-point line or the foul line.

Utah State took advantage of BSU's shooting woes and put on an offensive clinic of its own in steamrolling the Broncos 88-69 in front of a season-high crowd of 10,352 at Taco Bell Arena.

"It's just a sad, sad night," said Bronco senior Reggie Larry, who went over the 1,000-point barrier in his career by scoring a team-high 23 points, pulling down nine rebounds and blocking four shots.

The loss by the Broncos (22-8 overall, 12-4 WAC) likely relegates them to co-, tri- or quad-champions of the WAC. A victory against Utah State (22-9, 11-4) would have given BSU the outright championship. The Broncos still could be the outright champs if Nevada, New Mexico State and Utah State lose theirfinal conference games Saturday.

"We had a chance to end it here at home and we kind of let it slip away," point guard Anthony Thomas said. "It hurts a little bit."

After Thomas started the game with a made 3-pointer, but the Broncos missed their next 13 shots from behind the arc. They finished 2-of-17 from 3-point range. The two 3-pointers were a season-low total for the Broncos. The 11.8 percent was the worst of the season. The 69 points also were the fewest scored by BSU this season.

"We've always had good balance," BSU coach Greg Graham said. "When we got the ball inside, we hurt them. We didn't have enough firepower from the outside."

And the Broncos certainly didn't help themselves at the free-throw line. They made just 21-of-33, including 9-of-17 in the first half, when the Aggies took a 44-30 lead that never dipped below nine points the rest of the way.

"They pulled away because we couldn't make free throws," Graham said. "I thought that was the key to the game - that and the rebounds."

Utah State owned a 38-22 advantage on the boards, including 12 on the offensive end. Aggie post players Stephen DuCharme, Tai Wesley and Gary Wilkinson combined for 42 points and 19 rebounds. Jaycee Carroll scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and had nine rebounds...
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Matt Gibson foul trouble provided the opening for LA TECH to edge past Hawaii and nab a win.

LaTech ambushes Warriors, 69-62
Chris Weego
Special to The Honolulu Advertiser
March 7, 2008

RUSTON, La. — One streak had to be broken. Heading into the matchup, Hawai'i held a four-game losing streak while Louisiana Tech had dropped five straight.

The ball bounced the Bulldogs' way as UH fell, 69-62, at the Thomas Assembly Center last night.

"For some reason, we haven't been able to take care of the ball," said Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash. "Louisiana Tech really wanted to get the win and they worked really hard. They forced us into 20 turnovers and out-rebounded us."

The Rainbow Warriors (11-17, 7-8 WAC) could not keep the Bulldogs (5-23, 2-13 WAC) off the boards as Louisiana Tech held a 35-28 rebounding advantage and scored 18 second-chance points.

The Bulldogs also took advantage of the charity stripe as they hit 30 of 35 free-throw attempts to help seal their second conference win of the season.

"They shot 35 free throws and when you give a team that shoots 76 percent from the free-throw line, that's a lot of points," Nash said. "When you give a team that many shots, you're not going to win many games."

Hawai'i led through most of the first half, building as large as a seven-point lead before Louisiana Tech closed to 25-24 at halftime.

The teams battled back and forth in the second half until senior guard Matt Gibson, who led the Warriors with 22 points, picked up his fourth foul with 10:59 to play...
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