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[NEVADA ATHLETICS RELEASE]

Will Baker scored a career-high 28 points, Jarod Lucas poured in 22, and Kenan Blackshear added 20 of his own, as the University of Nevada Men's Basketball team took down #25 New Mexico 97-94 to earn their first win at home over a ranked opponent since 2003. 

With the win, Nevada moved to 16-5 on the season and 6-2 in Mountain West play. The victory also maintained the Pack's perfect record at home, as they improved to 10-0 at the Lawlor Events Center this season.  

Following the win, Head Coach Steve Alford now owns a perfect record of 7-0 against New Mexico during his time at the helm of the Pack program. 

Nevada had four different players score at least 13 points, and eight out of nine players that saw action for the Pack scored at least one point.  

Baker led the way, turning in one of the most dominant performances of his career, as the redshirt junior dropped a career-high 28 points on a sensational 12-17 shooting from the field, in addition to pulling down five rebounds and dishing out three assists. Baker logged a career-high 40 minutes throughout the contest.  

Lucas scored 22 points while knocking down 3-9 shots from behind the arc and nine of his 12 free throw attempts. The senior guard earned a plus/minus of +4 in 38 minutes of playing time. 

Blackshear was phenomenal throughout the evening, scoring 20 points on an efficient 8-13 shooting from the field, while also dishing out four assists and matching a career-high by recording five steals.  

Freshman forward Darrion Williams had one of the most impressive outings of his young career, scoring 13 points in addition to pulling down a career-high 13 rebounds to record the first double-double of his collegiate career. Williams also dished out three assists and recorded three steals while earning a plus/minus of +3 in a career-high 42 minutes of playing time.

Junior forward Tre Coleman had a stellar performance on both ends of the floor, scoring seven points on 3-5 shooting from the field while also recording a career-high nine assists. Defensively, Coleman recorded three steals and a game-high three blocks.  

On the Pack's first possession of the game, Baker drilled a 3-pointer off of a pass from Coleman, giving the Pack a 3-0 lead to begin the contest.  

Baker then finished a layup in the paint off of another Coleman assist on the Pack's next possession, as Nevada started the game on a 5-0 run.  

New Mexico drilled a 3-pointer on the other end to trim the Pack's lead to two; but, Blackshear scored his first bucket of the game in the paint to push the lead to four with 18:27 remaining in the first half. 

The Lobos cut the lead back down to two on their next possession, however, Baker hit a left-handed hook shot, giving Nevada an 11-7 advantage at the 16:54 mark. 

The fast-paced, high-scoring affair continued, as the two squads both put on an exceptional offensive display throughout the first period.  

Nevada maintained a lead up until the 9:15 mark when the Lobos managed to tie the contest for the first time in over 10 minutes at 23 points apiece. New Mexico then proceeded to take their first lead of the game with 7:23 remaining in the first half. 

The Lobos extended their lead up to three points with 3:22 to go until halftime, as they held a 36-33 advantage; but, the Pack responded by reeling off a 10-2 run over the remainder of the first half, taking a 43-38 lead into the break.  

The run began with Lucas knocking down a jumper, followed by a defensive stop from the Pack. Coleman then came down and finished a strong drive at the rim while drawing a foul and converting the and-one opportunity.  

Lucas proceeded to drain a 3-pointer after Coleman's bucket, and Blackshear closed out the run by converting a layup in the paint with just six seconds to go until halftime.  

Nevada shot an outstanding 52.8 percent from the field for the game, knocking down 19 of their 36 shot attempts.  

New Mexico began the second period on a 7-0 run over the first minute and 54 seconds, retaking the lead, as they held a 45-43 advantage over the Pack with 18:06 to go. 

Nevada responded with two quick buckets from Blackshear and Lucas, giving the Pack a 47-45 lead at the 16:50 mark.  

New Mexico used an 8-2 run over the next minute and 45 seconds to take their largest lead of the game at that point in time, as they held a four-point advantage with 15 minutes to go. 

The Pack displayed excellent resilience, as they continued to find an answer each time New Mexico attempted to create separation, this time in the form of back-to-back jumpers from Baker to even the score.

The Lobos once again retook the lead, building another four-point advantage with 11:10 to go, however, Nevada had another strong response, ripping off a 6-0 run over the next 2:24 to take a 61-59 lead with just 8:56 left in the second half.  

The next seven minutes of gametime saw five ties and five lead changes, and the Pack found themselves trailing by two points with 1:48 left in the period.  

Blackshear knocked down two free throws to tie the game with just 1:12 remaining in the second half and then recorded a steal on defense giving Nevada the ball with 57 seconds to go.  

 

After the Pack took a timeout, Blackshear hit a clutch turnaround jumper over his defender to give Nevada a two-point lead with 37 seconds left. New Mexico managed to tie the contest on their next possession, and the game went to overtime. 

The Lobos knocked down a 3-pointer just six seconds into the first overtime period; but, Lucas answered with a 3-pointer of his own on the Pack's next possession, as the two squads were deadlocked at 81 with 4:33 remaining.  

New Mexico went on a 6-1 run over the next 3:20, building a five-point lead. 

Trailing by five with just 1:13 left, the Pack, as they have done all season, showed incredible grit and poise down the stretch.  

Nevada forced New Mexico into a five-second violation to get the ball back at the 1:06 mark, and Williams proceeded to hit one of the biggest shots of his young career, a corner 3-pointer to cut the Lobos' lead to just two points with 1:02 remaining.  

The Pack then forced New Mexico into a shot-clock violation, and Blackshear came down and hit a difficult jump shot to even the game at 87 points apiece with 15 seconds to go, erasing the five-point deficit Nevada faced in less than a minute of game time. Nevada forced the Lobos into a third consecutive turnover, and Lucas attempted a halfcourt heave with one second left that came up just short, as the two squads headed to a second overtime period. 

New Mexico scored on their first possession of double overtime to take the lead, however, Nevada once again had an answer in the form of a bucket in the lane by Williams followed by two made free throws from Lucas, giving Nevada a two-point lead.

The Lobos hit a lone free throw to trim Nevada's led to one on the next possession, but, Lucas hit two more free throws to push the advantage up to three with 1:59 to go, as the Pack led 93-90. 

New Mexico went on a quick 4-1 run to even the game at 94 apiece with 44 seconds to go. After Lucas missed a jumper and New Mexico corralled the rebound, a Lobos player was charged with a flagrant foul after making contact with Daniel Foster

Foster went to the line and hit 1-2 free throws to give Nevada a one-point lead with 14 seconds remaining. Will Baker was then fouled and proceeded to make both free throws, extending Nevada's lead back up to three.  

The Lobos looked to tie the game with a 3-pointer; but, they missed a solid look from behind the arc and Lucas pulled down the rebound and ran out the clock, as Nevada went on to earn the thrilling 97-94 victory, handing New Mexico their third loss of the season.