March 10, 2018 / 5:01 AM / 8 months ago

SDSU scores 55 in first, stuns No. 22 Nevada to reach MW tourney final

Devin Watson hit four 3-pointers in the first half Friday night, helping San Diego State stun 22nd-ranked Nevada with a 55-point explosion en route to a 90-73 upset in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The Aztecs (21-10), who have reached the NCAA Tournament in six of the last eight seasons, will face New Mexico in the finals on Saturday. New Mexico defeated Utah State 83-68 on Friday.

The Wolf Pack (27-7), who won the Mountain West regular-season title, will almost certainly earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the field is announced Sunday.

Watson hit four hoops, including three of his 3-pointers, in the first 6:59 of the game, during which San Diego State built a 23-9 lead.

The Aztecs extended the margin to 55-25 by halftime, with Watson (14), Jalen McDaniels (12) and Matt Mitchell (10) all scoring in double figures in the first 20 minutes of the game.

The 55-point half was just three points fewer than what the Aztecs had scored in a complete game when beaten 83-58 at Nevada in February.

San Diego State avenged that loss at home with a 79-74 win over the Wolf Pack in the regular-season finale, which, before Friday, was Nevada’s only loss in its last nine games.

The Aztecs extended the lead to 34 points in the second half, and never allowed Nevada closer than 16 in the final 20 minutes.

Watson finished with a team-high 20 points and McDaniels had 17 for San Diego State, which has won eight in a row, including a 64-52 victory over Fresno State in the tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

McDaniels, who hit six of his eight shots, also pulled a game-high 12 rebounds.

Malik Pope added 14 points, Mitchell 13 and Trey Kell 11 for the Aztecs.

Jordan Caroline had a game-high 25 points for Nevada, which was the tournament defending champions.

Caroline also led the Wolf Pack in rebounds with 10.

Caleb Martin added 13 points and Hallice Cooke 10 for Nevada, which had beaten UNLV 79-74 to reach the semifinals.

Cody Martin was the game leader in assists with eight to complement nine points.

—Field Level Media

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