Another smothering defensive performance kept Nevada’s undefeated record spotless in a 72-49 victory over Utah State Wednesday. The sixth-ranked Wolf Pack improved to 14-0 in the process, their best start in school history since 1951-52.
Nevada has been on a record setting pace all season, and they have no plans of slowing down any time soon. They are still one of the four undefeated Division 1 teams left in the nation.
- The Pack had another cold night offensively, shooting just 39 percent from the field and 24 percent from three. Jordan Caroline posted his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 12 boards. Four players scored in double figures to put the game out of hand in the second half.
- Career High for Caroline: Caroline also recorded a career-high seven assists. One of them came off a drive-and-kick to sharpshooting guard Jazz Johnson, who nailed a corner three. Johnson finished with 10 points and added four free-throws.
- Rough Night: Caleb Martin did not score in double figures for the first time this season. Martin tallied just seven points and fouled out in 21 minutes of action. Martin’s absence prompted head coach Eric Musselman to experiment with a new rotation, all 11 players saw action in the game.
- Nevada held Utah State to a season-low 49 points on 33 percent shooting from the field. The Pack clamped hard on the perimeter, forcing the Aggies to cough the ball up inside which resulted to 20 turnovers and easy points in transition.
- Block Party: The Wolf Pack recorded five blocks on the night, three of which came from Tre’Shawn Thurman. Thurman had 14 points and one of his blocks pinned the backboard and Cody Martin took it the other way for a layup, bringing the 11,224 fans in Lawlor Events Center to their feet.
- Second Half Shutout: The Pack held the Aggies to 23 percent from the floor and 17 percent behind the arc. Their defensive play was lights out and it showed, Nevada outscored Utah State 37-24 in the final 20 minutes.
Nevada made easy work of one of the Mountain West’s toughest opponents. Utah State came into the game winners of three of their last four games. Even with Martin out for a majority of the second half, the Pack find timely buckets while shutting down their opponents on the other end. This looks to be a recipe for success heading into postseason play.