Nevada handles Lobo men in Mountain West basketball opener - Albuquerque Journal

Nevada handles Lobo men in Mountain West basketball opener

RENO, Nev. —It wasn’t Nevada’s dynamic guard duo that did it, though preseason Mountain West Player of the Year Grant Sherfield did have 10 points and 10 assists and Desmond Cambridge Jr. scored 18.

And although they combined for 24 points and 22 rebounds, it wasn’t the Wolf Pack’s pair of 7-footers — Warren Washington and Will Baker — who really did in the Lobos in on Saturday night in a 79-70 Nevada men’s basketball win in the Lawlor Events Center.

UNM knew those things might happen, no matter how hard they tried to stop them.

Saturday night, the difference ended up being Nevada’s others.

Tre Coleman scored nine of his 13 points in the second half, and Kenan Blackshear scored six of his nine and made several key defensive plays in the second half to spark the Wolf Pack (7-5, 1-0 Mountain West).

The Lobos, who had been on an 11-day break since their last game, fall to 7-7 overall and 0-1 in MWC play.

It seemed clear early that the Wolf Pack was determined to get the most out of that height advantage in the post with Washington and Baker scoring 13 of the team’s first 15 points.

But as Nevada was going to that on almost every trip down the court, the Lobos managed to build up as much as a nine-point lead (22-13) and held a halftime lead of 36-35 on the road.

The insistence on the Wolf Pack front court being the focal point of their first half offense resulted in Nevada’s star guard duo being held in relative check. Sherfield had just two points on 0-for-4 shooting and two made free throws at the break, and Cambridge had six points on 3-of-9 shooting.

Jaelen House led UNM in first-half scoring with 12. Saquan Singleton had 11 at the break and the Lobos led 36-35, managing to keep quiet, for the most part, the announced crowd of 7,224.

But the Wolf Pack proved in the second half far too experienced — and far too complete a team — to let the Lobos pull off the upset.

When Sherfield hits his first field goal of the game with 13:48 remaining, momentum clearly shifted to the Pack with a 46-41 lead.

A Jamal Mashburn Jr. basket with 10:10 remaining in the game, pulling the Lobos within 52-48, would be the last field goal UNM would make for the next 6 minutes, 20 seconds as Nevada went on a 17-2 run, leading 69-50 with under 5 to play.

UNM finally started hitting shots from that point on, including four 3s in a 3-minute span, cutting the 19-point deficit to five with under a minute. But the Wolf Pack closed things out hitting 8-of-9 free throws in the final 1:16 for the win.

House ended up with 18 points and six assists for UNM, Mashburn had 17 points but on just 6-of-17 shooting and Singleton finished with a season-high 14 points.

UNM was held to 35.9% shooting, the Lobos’ fourth consecutive game under 40%.

UP NEXT: Jan. 8, Utah State at UNM, 6 p.m., CBS Sports Network, 770 AM/96.3 FM

GAME BOOK:Nevada 79, UNM 70

READ MORE: For lots more news, notes and other odds & ends from Saturday’s game, read Emptying the Notebook.

Home » Sports » Nevada handles Lobo men in Mountain West basketball opener


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