Alford, Neal, Nevada Win In First Return to New Mexico 88-74
Alford, Neal and company were greeted with boos but left the Pit smiling.
Jalen Harris had his sixth straight game with 26 or more points.
Jalen Harris finished with a game-high 26 points and 9 rebounds and Nevada was able to keep New Mexico at bay in the Pit for most of a game in front of a hostile crowd.
New Mexico was led by JaQuan Lyle, who had somewhat of a resurgence after having a stretch of uncharacteristic play. The senior guard finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds.
Despite the boos hurled at Alford and Neal prior to the game’s start, the coaching tandem was able to lead their team to victory in their former home venue, staying ahead for virtually the entire game.
The first 25 minutes of the game looked to be one between evenly matched opponents, with each team trading baskets through most of the first half, with Harris doing most of the damage in the first half. But while Harris had a spectacular first half (and game), it was when other players for the Wolf Pack got involved that the gap grew to 10 points, and remained at nine at the half.
It was from the end of the first half on that Nevada was able to keep New Mexico at bay, garnering a 17 point lead at one point in the second half, never allowing New Mexico to get within more than 7.
The win places Nevada in a second place tie with Utah State in the conference standings, keeping the Mountain West’s second through sixth place positions all within one game of each other. The loss for New Mexico virtually ensures a seventh or eight place finish for the Lobos which were once 15-3.
New Mexico travels to Boise, ID to take on the Boise State Broncos inside of ExtraMile Arena on Sunday. Nevada will head back to Reno, NV and host the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday.