Feb. 2, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Malik Story's big first half helped Nevada stay with New Mexico. The Wolfpack couldn't keep up late in the game.
Story finished with 20 points, including one stretch of the first half in which he scored 12 straight, but Nevada fell to No. 20 New Mexico 75-62 on Saturday night.
"I think we've been in sync better and we've been able to get shots out of our offense," Wolf Pack coach David Carter said. "We had good rhythm and I thought our transitions were good offensively when we were able to get some shots off. Those were shots that we made in practice and they were the difference."
Story finished the first half with 15 points, helping make up for leading scorer Deonte Burton, who came into the game leading the conference with an 18.5 average but had just two points before the break before finishing with 13.
Carter attributed Burton's struggles to a strong defensive effort from the Lobos (19-3, 6-1 Mountain West), who sent 7-footer Alex Kirk into the lane to curtail drives through the middle.
"It affected it a lot," Carter said of Kirk's play. "His presence inside when Deonte Brown drove, he wasn't able to shoot over his high hand and that affected us a lot."
Still, Nevada (11-10, 2-5) hung around, trailing 34-32 at halftime, then took its first lead early in the second half when Burton scored five straight points to turn a 37-34 deficit into a 39-37 edge.
The Wolf Pack still led 51-50 with 11 minutes remaining, but New Mexico went on a 10-2 run to take the lead for good.
Burton brought the Wolf Pack within four points at 60-56 with a 3-pointer at the 5:40 mark, but the Lobos closed the game on a 15-6 run.
"The guys fought hard," Nevada coach David Carter said. "I didn't see the game as New Mexico dominating us. They did play very well and they shot the ball well, but our guys competed and I thought we had a chance. It kind of got away from us."
The Wolf Pack had some open looks in the final minutes, but the ball refused to drop.
"If we had made those shots, it would have been a different story," Carter said.
New Mexico went deep into its productive bench, outscoring the Wolf Pack 32-6, which was too much to overcome.
"I think you have to have you best players out there and games like these are counted possession by possession," Carter said. "Part of it is getting in better shape, too, but that's what needs to happen."
University of Nevada Men's Basketball
Nevada is 11-10, 2-5 in the Mountain West after falling 75-62 at No. 20 New Mexico (19-3, 6-1 MW) tonight.
Deonte Burton's block of New Mexico's Kendall Williams was No. 10 on ESPN's SportsCenter top 10 plays of the day. Burton's dunk at UNLV on Tuesday was No. 2 that night.
Nevada is 0-3 against ranked teams, 2-7 on the road and 2-6 since winning a season-high five in a row.
The Lobos won the first ever meeting between the two schools.
Senior guard Malik Story scored a game-high 20 points on his 23rd birthday. It was the seventh time he led the Pack in scoring, eighth time he led the team in scoring and 15th time he scored in double figures.
Burton had 13 points to reach double figures for the 17th time and 65 times in his career. Burton the leading scorer in MW play has scored in double figures in all eight conference games.
After tonight's game Story has 1,288 career points which moved him into 14th place on Nevada's career scoring list. Burton ranks 13th and has 1,296 career points leaving him four short of 1,300.
Jordan Burris finished in double figures with 10 points. It is his seventh double figure scoring game of the season and first since the Dec. 31 game at Oregon when he totaled 11.
Nevada outrebounded the Lobos 33-29.
Junior Jerry Evans, Jr. grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. It is the sixth time he led the Pack in rebounding.
After making three 3-pointers Story has 219 in his career which ranks second at Nevada. Marcelus Kemp (2004-08) is first with 227.
Fourth-year head coach David Carter is 73-49 at Nevada.
Burton and Story have started all 88 games of their career.
Nevada hosts Colorado State on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. PT. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network.