LAS VEGAS (AP) — Conference player of the year Deonte Burton woke up after taking an elbow to the jaw, scoring 15 of his 16 in the second half, and top-seeded Nevada overcame a horrid first half offensively for a 54-44 win over San Jose State in the Western Athletic Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night.
Immediately after getting dropped to the floor by the elbow of San Jose State's Stephon Smith, Burton responded with eight straight points, and awakened a slumbering Nevada offense that tied a WAC tournament record by scoring just 13 first-half points.
Not that the Spartans were much better, leading just 14-13 at the break. But Nevada's talent took over the final 14 minutes, erasing a nine-point second-half deficit.
Olek Czyz and Jerry Evans, Jr. added 10 each for Nevada (26-5), who will face either Utah State or Louisiana Tech in the semifinals.
Will Carter led the Spartans (9-22) with 18 points.