LAS VEGAS -- As quickly as the Aztecs played the entire first half and with as many blocks and steals to go along with it, you might believe SDSU would have gone into half time with more than just a 10 point lead. However, despite being the underdog and playing in an arena where the majority of the crowd wanted them to lose, the Nevada Wolfpack kept their composure for much of the game and kept SDSU's lead at bay.
In the first half, the Wolfpack shot just 20% from beyond the arc and 30% from the field. In order to have any chance to overcome a double digit deficit, Nevada would need to improve their shooting percentage. More over, they would need to find ways to overcome SDSU's suffocating defense.
With just under 16 minutes left, the Aztecs started making the mistakes that left the door open for Reno, including turnovers, not handling offensive rebounds, and missing open shots. What turned into a fairly low scoring affair, starting playing in Reno's favor. And despite the fact that one of Nevada's top players, Marqueze Coleman sat on the bench for the majority of the second half with a plaguing ankle injury, the Wolfpack fought hard.
Nevada's DJ Fenner hit a jumper to tie the game at 38 with 11 minutes to go. After that, it became a track meet that only benefitted the Aztecs. SDSU's depth had the upper hand in what became a battle of fresh bodies. SDSU's Coach Steve Fisher replenished his players every few minutes. The size and strength of San Diego took its toll on Reno down the stretch. Despite moments when the Wolfpack came close, this game always felt like SDSU had control of it.
Tomorrow afternoon, SDSU will play the winner of the Colorado State v. Fresno State Semi Finals Game #2.
Check back soon for a full recap of this Semi Finals Game #1.