The Nevada Wolf Pack (14-9, 6-5) will host the Fresno State Bulldogs (16-8, 7-4) at the Lawlor Events Center on Saturday evening. The Wolf Pack are coming off a twenty-point victory over Air Force on Wednesday while the Bulldogs pulled off the upset as they defeated San Diego State 58-57 on Wednesday. This is the second meeting between both schools this season and in the first meeting, the Bulldogs easily defeated the Wolf Pack 85-63. In that game the Wolf Pack had a poor shooting night as they only shot 35 percent from the field and went 1 for 13 from the three-point line.
For Nevada to avenge that loss, they must contain Fresno State's talented back-court duo of Marvelle Harris and Cezar Guerrero. In the first meeting between the Nevada and Fresno State, Harris scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Guerrero scored 13 points and seven rebounds. It was a game where the Bulldog back court just out-played Nevada's back-court that night. It is going to take a great effort from Marqueze Coleman, Lindsey Drew and DJ Fenner to contain one of the best back-courts in the Mountain West.
Nevada must protect the ball in order to defeat the Bulldogs as Fresno State forces 15 turnovers a game which is the best in the Mountain West. In the upset over San Diego State, the Bulldogs force 18 turnovers and Nevada must take care of the ball and not give Fresno State any extra possessions that could lead to points for the Bulldogs. The Wolf Pack may have a possible advantage in the front court as the Bulldogs may be without the services of three of their top front court player. Krachi Edo, Paul Watson and Torren Jones all have injuries and are listed as "day-to-day". With the Bulldogs possible lack of post players, this could be a chance for freshman sensation Cameron Oliver to have a big night.
This is a big game for both teams in terms of the conference standings. A Nevada win puts them in tie with Fresno State for second place while a loss drops them down to sixth place. In a crucial game like this, I expect both teams to play hard but I think Nevada wins a close contest.