San Diego State stuns Caroline, No. 6 Nevada 65-57
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jeremy Hemsley and Devin Watson scored 15 points apiece for San Diego State, which shut down Jordan Caroline and stunned cold-shooting No. 6 Nevada 65-57 Wednesday night, beating the Wolf Pack for the third straight time.
Jalen McDaniels added 10 points for SDSU (17-9, 9-4 Mountain West), which won for the seventh time in eight games and snapped a 10-game winning streak by the Wolf Pack (24-2, 11-2), prompting fans to rush the court. It was the highest ranked team that SDSU had ever beaten.
Caleb Martin had 20 points for Nevada, which was held to its lowest point total this season. Their previous low was in its only other loss, 85-58 at New Mexico on Jan. 5. Since then Nevada had averaged 22 points per game.
The Wolf Pack made only 19 of 56 shots (33.9 percent. Caroline came in averaging 18.8 points but scored only six, on 3-of-12 shooting.
SDSU won despite shooting just 39.7 percent, making 25 of 63.
After trailing by 16 midway through the second half, the Wolf Pack pulled within single digits in the closing minutes.
McDaniels fouled out with 41.4 seconds to go and Trey Porter made one of two free throws to pull the Wolf Pack to 60-55.
Hemsley made a layup with 29.6 seconds left and Caroline then fouled out, with Hemsley making one of two free throws for a 63-55 lead.
The Aztecs, who are coming on strong for the second straight season, have handed Nevada three of its last five losses. They beat the Wolf Pack in San Diego in the regular-season finale a year ago and again in the semifinal of the Mountain West Conference tournament. That didn’t keep the Wolf Pack from advancing to the Sweet 16, where they lost 69-68 to Loyola-Chicago, which went on to reach the Final Four.
Caroline didn’t score until he had a put-back with 15:54 left to pull the Wolf Pack to 39-30. Cody Martin then made two free throws to pull within seven.
But Watson made a layup for SDSU, prompting fans to chant “OVER-RATED!” Jordan Schakel hit a long 3 to give the Aztecs a 44-32 lead and force Nevada to call timeout.
Caroline was called for a technical foul for tripping Watson, who made both free throws for a 52-39 lead with 9:03 to go. Caroline also had two air-ball 3-point shots in the second half.
San Diego State led 30-21 at halftime thanks to 10 points from Jeremy Hemsely. The Aztecs’ biggest lead was 28-18 with 2:41 to go after a put-back by Aguek Arop.
Matt Mitchell and Schakel hit big 3-pointers for SDSU.
Caroline and McDaniels (17.2-point average) were held scoreless in the first half.
Nevada: The Wolf Pack hadn’t trailed in the last three games and in five of six but allowed Jeremy Hemsley’s jumper less than two minutes in to fall behind 2-0.
San Diego State: The Aztecs and Wolf Pack will meet again in the regular-season finale March 9 in Reno.
Nevada hosts Fresno State on Saturday night.
San Diego State plays at UNLV on Saturday night.