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Four remain: Caleb Martin’s career-high 33 points leads Nevada past Utah

Sixth-ranked Wolf Pack undefeated in non-conference play, first time in school history.

NCAA Basketball: Akron at Nevada Reno Gazette Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK

Nevada guard Caleb Martin tallied a career-high 33 points in a 86-71 victory over the Utah Utes Saturday at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The sixth-ranked Wolf Pack improved to 13-0 on the season and are one of the four undefeated Division I teams.

Along with the countless records and accolades this season has brought, Nevada added another one to their impressive resume. Their win over Utah marks the first time in school history have gone undefeated in non-conference play.

OFFENSE:

  • The Pack shot 47 percent from the field and striped 46 percent from the three-point line. Along with Martin’s career day, Jordan Caroline recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Jazz Johnson nailed four threes and scored 12 points off the bench. Trey Porter added nine points and three rebounds, he and freshman Jordan Brown split time at the center position.
  • Caleb Gets Buckets: Caleb Martin has shown his elite scoring traits all season, and his skills were on full display against Utah. Martin showcased the three-point shot, going 6-16 from downtown. He also showcased an advance handle while driving into the paint to put the Pack up double digits in the final minutes of the game.

One of Caleb’s baskets from behind-the-arc came off the assist from his twin brother, Cody Martin. In this sequence, Caleb pulls up from NBA range and sinks the shot with relative ease.

DEFENSE:

  • Nevada held Utah to 41 percent from the field and just 36 percent from the three-point line. The Utes trailed 38-37 at halftime, but failed to carry their offensive rhythm into the second half. Shedrick Barefield tied Caleb Martin with a game-high 33 points on 10-15 shooting. Barefield spaced the floor and his efficiency on the perimeter gave Nevada headaches.
  • The rest of the team shot 32 percent from the field. The Pack lost the rebounding battle 39-30 for only the second time this season. Nevada also forced 17 turnovers, creating easy opportunities for Martin and Caroline in transition.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

After a stretch of close games against non-ranked opponents, it’s refreshing to get a double-digit win against a Utah squad that was once undefeated at home. The duo of Caleb Martin and Caroline has played a major role in the offense, and it has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Nevada has made it this far unscathed, but more tough conference opponents are still on the schedule.

NEXT UP:

The Wolf Pack will face Utah State January 2 at Lawlor Events Center. The Aggies are 10-3 this season and are atop the Mountain West Conference.