The big winner in the first round of the WAC tournament was the status quo. All four top seeds advanced, and three of the four games were decided by 16 points or more, leaving plenty of drama for the tournament’s final two days.
After wins by top-seeded Utah State and Louisiana Tech, the Nevada Wolf Pack, playing on their home court, easily dispatched the Idaho Vandals, winning going away, 87-71. Nevada held a 13-point halftime lead thanks in part to some hot shooting from behind the arc (seven three-pointers) in the first half. WAC Player of the Year Luke Babbitt led the Pack with 21 points.
The nightcap saw New Mexico State run past San Jose State, 90-69. NMSU’s Jonathan Gibson was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc, scoring a team-high 22 points. All told, nine Aggies found their way into the score book, and NMSU shot nearly 50 percent from three-point range as a team.
Friday’s semifinals will pit No. 1 Utah State against No. 4 Louisiana Tech and No. 2 Nevada against No. 3 New Mexico State.