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Vengeance: Nevada crushes New Mexico for 23rd win

Sixth-ranked Wolf Pack off to best start in school history.

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Colorado State Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The sixth-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack avenged it’s only loss of the season in a 91-62 thrashing of the New Mexico Lobos Saturday at Lawlor Events Center. Nevada had an answer for every curve thrown by the Lobos, and responded with a few tricks of its own.

The Pack improved to 23-1 and are off to the best start in school history.

THE RUNDOWN:

OFFENSE:

  • Nevada shot a perfect 50 percent from the field and 30 percent from three on 20 attempts. Five players scored in double-figures. Caleb Martin tied Trey Porter with a game-high 20 points. Jordan Caroline recorded his 12th double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Jazz Johnson added 13 points off the bench.
  • Killing The Zone: New Mexico’s 1-3-1 zone gave Nevada fits Jan. 5 at “The Pit,: but coach Eric Musselman responded with smooth ball movement around the perimeter and making the extra pass inside for easy slams. Nevada recorded 18 assists. Those tactics helped the Pack coast to a 15-0 run in the first half to give them a commanding 51-26 lead.
  • THE Zone Killer: Senior Trey Porter scored a game-high 20 points on 8-11 shooting and nine rebounds. Nevada fed him the ball early in the post and took advantage, or he casually flushed put-back dunks on the Lobos to get the 11,197 fans up on its feet.
  • Career Mileston For Jazz Johnson: Jazz Johnson eclipsed 1,000 career points with the win tonight. He joined Caroline and Caleb Martin as the 1,000 career point scorers.

DEFENSE:

Nevada held New Mexico to 33 percent shooting and 26 percent shooting from behind the arc. Two players scored in double-figures. Makuach Maluach had a team-high 19 points. The Pack forced 20 turnovers and totaled nine steals.

Anthony Mathis Held in Check: Lobos guard Anthony Mathis scored a career-high 27 points in the last meeting. This time around, Johnson and Cody Martin checked Mathis as soon as he crossed half court, forcing the ball out of his hands and playing tight off the ball. Mathis scored only six points on 2-8 shooting.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Things took off this time around for Nevada, they adjusted at every level and ultimately put the game away at the first half buzzer. The Wolf Pack are peaking at just the right time, and it may pay dividends come March. They were listed as a fourth-seed in the NCAA Tournament Bracket Preview.

NEXT UP:

Nevada faces the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. pacific time in Laramie, Wyoming. The Cowboys are 6-17 overall and 2-8 in conference play this season.