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Mountain West Notebook

December 16, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments



Mountain West Notebook

by Bob Thurman

A Quiet, Yet Successful Week

It was fairly quiet this past week in college hoops compared to previous weeks, and the Mountain West was no different. However, it was the most successful week of the season for the conference, as they won twelve of the thirteen games they played. The most impressive win was Wyoming’s victory over previously unbeaten Texas Tech, 67-62. The Cowboys were without star center Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, who is still nursing a sprained knee, but got some good inside play from Alex Dunn and Mory Correa. It was the quality win the Cowboys have been striving for all season and could help turn their season around.

In other action, BYU continues to impress with victories over San Diego (64-49) and intrastate rival Utah State (66 – 56). The Cougars are playing solid team defense, along with balanced scoring from their starting five. Image how good this team will be if they start getting some production from their bench, other than Ricky Bower of course! UNLV, on the other hand, struggled in their contest with Bradley. The Rebels were pushed into overtime and were on the verge of defeat until Dalron Johnson buried a three pointer with less than a second to go to pull out the win, 85-83. Like BYU, UNLV is not getting much production from their bench, which only produced five points in the win against Bradley. This is an area of concern for both teams as they head into conference play.

More Winning Ways

Colorado State is quietly having a solid season and continued their winning ways with a quality win over Washington State, 90-79. The Rams’ frontline tandem of Brian Greene and Matt Nelson combined for 33 points and 15 rebounds to overwhelm the much smaller Cougar frontline, while clamping down on star point guard Marcus Moore, who only went 6 – 23 from the field. Take away their poor performances over the Thanksgiving weekend, and the Rams are 8 – 0. Blame it on the turkey!

Since their tough loss to Arizona, San Diego State seems to have found some confidence and is playing much better. For further proof, look no farther than their win over a tough Hawaii team, 60-49. Both teams struggled in the first half, which ended in a 22-22 tie. In the second half, the Aztecs shot 60 percent and took over down the stretch. Defensively, the Aztecs actually shutout three of the Rainbow’s starters, who combined to miss all ten shots they attempted. It was Hawaii’s first loss of the season.

A Promising Start

There was some good news out of New Mexico this past week. Guard Senque Carey, who suffered a spinal cord injury when he took a charge in a game November 25th against Northwestern State, was able to move his legs on his own will. Later, after receiving shock therapy, the senior guard stepped onto the court and shot a few baskets. It was a promising start to a long, but hopefully successful rehabilitation. Way to go Senque!

This Week’s MWC Heat-Miser Award

Andy Birley, Colorado State
9 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 turnover versus Denver

The Rams huge frontline gets most of the press, but their backcourt has played well too, especially senior Andy Birley. Against Denver, he played maybe his best all-around game by distributing the ball effectively, taking care of it, and scoring when needed.

This Week’s MWC Snow-Miser Award

Omoniyi Makun, Wyoming
2 points, 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls versus Texas Tech

It was hoped the junior college transfer would be able to lesson the pain of Josh Davis’ departure, but so far he has been a bust. The big Nigerian is struggling against quality opposition, and was not a factor in Wyoming’s big win. Luckily, the Cowboys are finally getting some production from some of their other big guys, but that does not bode well for Makun.

     

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