Despite shooting just 33 percent from the field and 30 percent in the second half, the New Mexico State men's basketball team had the ball with the shot clock turned off and a chance to tie or take the lead but an untimely turnover by senior point guard Hernst Laroche with under five seconds left gave the ball back to Nevada with 1.1 seconds left. Deonte Burton would hit a pair of free throws ending the Aggies' chances at a share of the regular season title.
New Mexico State trailed throughout the game and much like the first meeting between the two teams, Nevada came out the starting gate hot. The Wolf Pack were 7-of-9 from three point distance in the first half with Maik Story hitting four three pointers in less than a two minute span. The Wolf Pack shot 53 percent from the field in the first half, however, this time the Aggies were able to stay in the game with offensive rebounds and second chance points, outscoring Nevada 9-3 in the first half. The Aggies' offense was cold from the floor hitting just 35 percent of their 39 first half attempts. Despite the disparity in shooting the Aggies trailed by just seven points at the break.
The Aggies opened the second half on a 5-0 run to quickly cut the lead to two but Nevada answered pushing their lead back to seven six minute into the half. The Aggies would get back to within four on a pair of free throws from Wendell McKines with 11:43 left making the score 52-48 but the Aggies would not score again until the 4:11 mark. Nevada would build their lead to 11 but three free throws from Laroche would cut the Wolf Pack's lead to eight. Wendell McKines would bury a three a few seconds later to cut the lead to five points but Olek Czyz would hit a jumper in the paint and get fouled to put Nevada back up by seven. Czyz would miss the free throw but Nevada would grab the offensive rebound and get a layup from Malik Story to extend their lead back to nine points.
Bandja Sy would hit a three and then get a breakaway dunk off a steal by Laroche to cut the lead to four with 2:25 left to play. With the Aggies still trailing by four with 1:08 left the Aggies would inbound the ball out of a timeout. An errant pass from Laroche into the paint would ricochet off an Aggie but right into Daniel Mullings' hands and he would deliver a dunk to cut Nevada's lead to two at 63-61. The Aggies would play solid defense and force a long contested three pointer from Deonte Burton and Tyrone Watson would come down with the rebound for the Aggies.
Laroche would bring the ball up the court but the Aggies would be unable to even get a shot off as Laroche's pass sailed well above the head of Tyrone Watson into the Nevada student section giving Nevada the ball with 1.1 seconds left in the game. The Aggies would foul before the Wolf Pack would inbound the ball but Deonte Burton would go to the line and sink both free throws to ice the game.
With the Aggies' loss the Wolf Pack clinched the regular season title outright and the number one seed in next week's WAC Tournament. The Aggies drop to 9-4 in league play and must win at Fresno State or have San Jose State defeat Idaho to retain the 2-seed for next week's tournament.
Wendell McKines recorded his 17th double-double of the season finishing with 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way for the Aggies. Hernst Laroche added 12 points and Daniel Mullings scored 10.
Olek Czyz led Nevada with 15 points, Malik Story scored 14 points and Dario Hunt added 10. Deonte Burton was held to nine points on 3-of-12 shooting and the Wolf Pack bench scored 12 points after scoring just one against Fresno State in Nevada's last contest.
New Mexico State drops to 22-9 on the season and 9-4 in league play while Nevada improves to 24-5 and 12-1 in league play.