My first reaction is that the Aggies played poorly offensively but were still right there. Timeout or no timeout, that is the question. When things fell apart on that last possession, I think the Aggies should have called their final timeout. As a senior, Hernst Laroche could have even called it when he got under pressure at the top of the key.
New Mexico State trailed Nevada by nine with three minutes to play, didn’t score for 10 minutes and still had the ball with 20 seconds to play.
But Aggies senior point guard Hernst Laroche turned the ball over with one second left and Nevada won the Western Athletic Conference title outright with a 65-61 victory on Thursday.
“We did not get any offensive rhythm or tempo in the second half,” said Aggies coach Marvin Menzies, whose team fell to 9-4 in the WAC.
Idaho beat Hawaii 82-63 on Thursday night to pull to within a game of the Aggies and could catch NMSU (22-9) for the WAC Tournament No. 2 seed if the Aggies lose at Fresno State on Saturday and the Vandals win at San Jose State.
NMSU junior wing Bandja Sy hit a 3-pointer and dunked in transition off one of Nevada’s 16 turnovers to make it 63-59 with 2:24 to play. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings dunked home two more off a loose ball to pull NMSU to within two with 57 seconds left.
Menzies called a timeout with 1:08 to play, leaving NMSU with one remaining timeout. Nevada called a timeout with 45 seconds left and couldn’t get a good look at the basket with Deonte Burton launching a 25-footer from the top of the key that the Aggies rebounded with 25 seconds left.
Laroche was pressured and threw the ball into the fourth row with one second left without getting a shot off.
“I called a play in the previous timeout,” Menzies said. “They knew the play but they just didn’t do it. Halfway through it, it looked like they were getting it together. There was still about 13 seconds left. It was supposed to be a ball screen on the side and Hernst never received it. (Tshilidi Nephawe) came up late. Hernst had to make an extra pass and it was an errant pass. They did an excellent job defending and you have to give them credit.”
Nevada packed the paint, holding NMSU to 33.8 percent shooting for the game — 30.8 percent in the second half.
The Aggies went nine minutes without scoring midway through the second half and 10 minutes without a field goal before a Wendell McKines 3-pointer made it 59-54 with 3:42 to play.
Nevada finished 42.9 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. The Wolf Pack made seven 3s in the first half but went 0-for-7 from long range in the second half.
“I know we will play better offensively going forward,” Menzies said. “It’s one thing not being able to score but we have to defend. We did that.”
Trailing 43-36 at halftime, the Aggies pulled to within two on a McKines 3-pointer with 17:53 to play.
McKines finished with 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting to go with 13 rebounds.
In a match up between the top two players in the WAC, McKines’ Aggies couldn’t catch Nevada and Burton. The Aggies did hold Burton to nine points but Malik Story had 14 points and Olek Czyz and Dario Hunt controlled the paint. Czyz scored 15 points and Hunt had 10 points and six blocks.
Nevada led throughout the first half, hitting 7-of-9 3-pointers in the first half. Malik Story made four of them, draining four straight from NBA range to put Nevada up 39-28.
Another loss, another blown opportunity against a good team by the sleep walking Aggies!
No way they win the WAC tourney. Is it Spring football yet?
It would be easier to stomach had they been able to get a shot off. I'm sick of Menzies taking credit for every good thing that happens, yet not taking any blame when things don't go the Aggies way. He's too quick to blame the players and doesn't take responsibility for anything. Win as a team, lose as a team. The coaches are part of the team.
Business as usual...play a good team and lose. 1-16 vs. RPI top 100 in the last two seasons. So it isn't surprising that we didn't get a shot off at the end of the game.
When the Aggies are missing point blank drop ins off of offensive rebounds, bricking free throws, AND whiffing mid-range and long-range shots, then yeah, the opposition is going to pack the paint and dare you to shoot. It's no surprise that Nevada was shooting lights out at home; teams are supposed to do that when they have good shooters on the floor in their house.
It's too bad the Aggies didn't have the opportunity to take the last shot. Trying to throw over the top over that big defender...wow. Would have been nice to see McKines getting a chance to assert himself on the boards one last time in Vegas. With six seconds left on the clock at the end of the game, a time out was in order since it was pretty obvious the way the Aggies were standing around and the way Nevada was defending that whatever play should have happened wasn't going to happen.
I would normally rip Menzies, for not coaching well enough. Am not going to do it this time; the Aggie players simply did not make the offensive plays from the line or from the field to win the game. Credit Nevada's defense and balanced offensive play and great crowd.
I hope the Fresno game works out better for the Aggies so they keep the second seed. I'd like to see how Nevada plays by the time the tourney finals roll around. I think the Aggies will have a big advantage over the other teams in the WAC by the final game with the motors that McKines, LaRoche and Watson and Mullings have on them. The team just needs to make it that far. I would not be surprised to see a team like Utah State or Idaho in place of Nevada or the Aggies in the finals if the Aggies don't get into offensive rhythm.
Would be nice to see the Aggies hit their shots against Fresno on Saturday night.
Just another game where the opponent dares us to shoot and beats us that way. We dont have good shooters on this team and when they block off the inside (plus when every shot attempt gets blocked) its hard to win the game. We know that is the weakness of this team and teams that are able to play the zone adequately will really stifle our offensive game. So nothing to do there.
That last possession was pathetic. I assume Menzies saved his time out to either call it after we made the shot or after Nevada made a shot. But there was too much time taken off the clock and LaRoche should have called TO himself. It was clear to everyone that whatever play they were running was completely falling apart. I dont agree with him not calling it because even if you already made the call its idiotic to think the team could run it properly. We dont run offensive plays at all! They like it that way, Menzies preaches it that way, Watson came out and said it was their style not to run offensive sets. So if you dont run offensive sets why not call a time out to make sure that everyone is on the same page.....
Which brings me to another observation, why didnt the Aggies push the pace more? I know Nevada was playing zone the whole game but we never tried to run the ball up court and beat them. LaRoche would walk the ball up court and let them set up their defense. Like the last play in the game, we didnt show enough urgency throughout the game. They let them set up their defense instead of trying to mess them up by pushing the ball up.
I honestly dont think that Nevada can walk away with the WAC Tourney. Against Fresno and NMSU they have shown to be a very beatable team. Despite all of our shorTcomings, it was their shortcomings that allowed us a chance to tie it or win it at the end. Utah St. is getting very hot right now and would fall in Nevadas bracket. That would be a huge test for the Wolfpack and if they dont get eliminated there, they still have the championship to look forward to. Which should hopefully be against us.
Re: The two remaining time-outs with 20-plus seconds remaining. Most coaches would have to be aware that they've gone ten minutes without scoring a field goal. You have two time-outs remaining. If you don't like how things are going after your first time-out, you can use your last. McKines is the workhorse who could've at least made the refs make a decision to call a foul by doing what McKines does best: going hard to the basket. But, Menzies didn't even mention McKines when describing that last play.
It's also hard to accept a coach who, like a reader noted above, smashes his players when things go badly. Something is amiss with this coach. His team's about to lose a nationally televised game and he's seen chuckling on the sidelines and not in an ironic way, as if he's laughing at the refs. What this Chuckleberry was laughing at is beyond me.
I'm not sure with all the travel that's involved if this team can beat Fresno State on Saturday and then again next Thursday (if that's how the seedings pan out). I'm not sure if they can shoot their usual percentages in the conference tournament and expect to win three tough games.
Imagine if the aggies ever put together 40 solid minutes.
I still say put BJ in---I have missed him all season. It seems like Menzies is having trouble deciding which of the big centers is the worst. In this game they both were worthless. Why not bench them both and play Tyrone at center---at least he can catch the ball and go up and make a layup or a dunk.
We play Nevada, who has an rpi of 56 to a one possesion game on the road in front of a full house and nothing but negative remarks. Cruces is a joke.
You don't get it. The Aggies have the best starting 8 there is in the league. This may have been true for the last five years. Yet, we seem drop games at places like Idaho, El Paso, Hawaii where we get behind and have to claw our way back, and lose, against teams we should dominate.
Had we taken care of business early, as Nevada has, then getting an invite to the NCAA tourney wouldn't hinge on us winning the WAC championship. Instead, we have those bad losses haunting us and no way to get to the dance with winning three games in three days in early march.
An L is an L, regardless of whether it's a blowout or not. So forgive the people who post here who have higher expectations.
Maybe, like you, we should be happy with the mediocrity that we see folks in El Paso with when it comes to the Miners.
Let's all chant, like you, "We're Number Two, maybe, we're Number Two..."
We're winning in Vegas. All the haters who only come out when we lose (it was a tight game) can suck an egg.
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