All week leading up to this game, most of the focus was on Nevada G Marqueze Coleman, and the status of his ankle. Nearly two weeks ago, Coleman injured his ankle against Utah State and subsequently missed the next three games. His status for the game was unclear, and many felt that Nevada needed Marqueze Coleman to win a game in the Mountain West Tournament.
Apparently, someone forgot to tell Cameron Oliver.
The freshman forward had the game of his career, earning a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Defensively, Oliver contributed four blocks as well, and none more key than block number four.
The Wolf Pack were up by just one with less than ten seconds left. New Mexico had the ball, and found Cullen Neal open in the corner. The shot never hit the rim. Cameron Oliver was able to get a hand on the ball, and all but seal the Wolf Pack's first ever Mountain West Tournament win.
Oliver with the huge block & what a save by Drew!!! https://t.co/wuE6OVREMw— NevadaWolfPackTV (@WolfPack_TV) March 11, 2016
For most of the first half, Nevada held control of the game, but New Mexico was able to keep it close. The second half was much of the same, with both teams trading baskets and the lead. Midway through the second half, New Mexico was able to hold on to a small lead, but Nevada charged back and managed to tie it up with 3:36 remaining.
With less than a minute remaining on the clock, New Mexico's Sam Lockwood gave the Lobos the 62-61 lead, only to have Tyron Criswell take back the lead with an incredible layup.
After the Wolf Pack stopped New Mexico on their next possession, the Lobos were forced to foul Eric Cooper Jr. with just 15 seconds left. However, Cooper missed, and New Mexico went down the court for the final shot. They never got it off thanks to Oliver, and Nevada came away with the victory.
Elijah Brown tied Oliver for a game-high 26 points, and shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Sam Lockwood finished with 16 points, while Tim Williams added 12 points.
With Marqueze Coleman limited to just 10 minutes, Tyron Criswell stepped up for Nevada and scored 20 points on a ridiculous 8-of-9 shooting. Between Oliver and Criswell, the duo scored 46 of Nevada's 64 points in the game. Elijah Foster contributed with 11 rebounds.
With the win, Nevada will play San Diego State in the semifinals of the MW Tournament tomorrow. The winner will earn a trip to the championship game, where a NCAA Tournament bid is on the line.