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Mountain West Notebook

February 7, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Mountain West Notebook

by Bob Thurman

Who Made This Schedule?

Is it me, or does it seem like the Mountain West Conference is falling behind everyone else. While most conferences are halfway through their conference schedule, the MWC has only played a third of theirs. Take a look at the standings and you’ll see teams at the top of other conferences with eight or nine wins. Now look at MWC leader Wyoming … 4-0. Whoever made the schedule for the MWC must seriously dislike the month of January.

Case in point, look at this past week. Besides the usual Big Monday game (where UNLV defeated New Mexico 75-66), there was not another conference tilt until Saturday, when all the teams were in action. So the majority of the teams had an entire week off between games. Football season is over, for heaven’s sake! Luckily, things finally pick up this month as all teams must play at least seven games in this, the shortest month.

Recap of Saturday’s Games

In the day’s most interesting contest, Wyoming traveled to UNLV to try and stay undefeated in conference play. Wyoming has been playing tremendous team defense in their surge to the top of the standings, while UNLV hasn’t played any lately. In the end, defense prevailed and the Cowboys came away with a 90-80 victory in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.

In the tightest contest of the day, San Diego State hosted Colorado State in a game the Aztecs needed to win. It was a close battle the entire game, but the Rams hit their free throws down the stretch and freshman guard Michael Morris blocked the Aztecs final three-point attempt to seal the victory, 72-69. This was San Diego State’s third consecutive loss, including two at home.

In what was easily the biggest defensive battle of the day, Utah proved to everyone that they are one of the country’s toughest defensive teams. The game was tight until the final five minutes, when the Utes turned up their defense and held the Falcons scoreless until there were only seven seconds left. Meanwhile, the Utes scored a dozen in that time and ended up winning, 45-35.

Lastly, BYU hosted New Mexico in the place that used to host the nation’s longest winning streak. The Cougars had four players in double figures and easily won, 80-64. A new streak has begun!

Carey Goes Under the Knife

New Mexico guard Senque Carey had surgery on his injured spine this week. Initial reports stated the surgery was a success, but Carey is experiencing less sensation on his left side. Surgeons believe his spine is in shock and will take some time for the swelling to subside. Carey, whose spirits seem to never waver, hopes to return to campus in a couple of weeks. We all hope he’ll be walking down those halls soon!

This Week’s MWC Heat-Miser Award

Ruben Douglas, New Mexico

40 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover versus UNLV
39 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers versus BYU

Take your pick! In both games, the senior guard scored more than half of his team’s points in a losing effort. He may not play a lick of defense, but he sure can light it up on the offensive end. Imagine how bad the Lobos would be without him!

This Week’s MWC Snow-Miser Award

Air Force Falcons

35 points, 13-34 shooting, 18 rebounds, 22 fouls versus Utah

The good news is that the Falcons only allowed 45 points to the Utes. The bad news is that their offense was so inept that they scored ten points less. Even worse than the poor shooting was their total helplessness on the boards, as they were out-rebounded 34-18.


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