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Wolf Pack Preview: Nevada Basketball will seek third conference victory versus Boise State on Saturday

The Pack look to start 3-0 in MWC play for the second time in the last three seasons.

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at St. Mary’s Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Nevada (9-5, 2-0) vs Boise State (10-5, 2-1)

When: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 at 3 p.m. PST

Where: Lawlor Events Center

TV: CBS Sports Network

Matchup History: Nevada leads 47-27

Breakdown:

The Nevada men’s basketball team (9-5, 2-0) will cap off its two-game homestand with hosting Boise State (10-5, 2-1) on Saturday. Nevada has won its last seven games versus the Broncos, with the last loss coming on March 2, 2016, in a 76-57 battle in Boise, Idaho.

Boise State rides into Reno with a four-game win streak, with its most recent victory coming on New Year’s day in 65-54 showdown versus Wyoming. Senior Justinian Jessup led the Broncos with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

The Broncos rank in the Top-4 in the conference in points per game (79.3), field goal percentage (45.8) and three-point percentage (34.7).

They are led by redshirt junior Derrick Alston, who leads the conference in scoring with 20.3 points per game. In 10 of Alston’s 15 games, he has reached 20-plus points and has hit the 25-point mark in five of those games. He shoots the ball at a 44 percent clip, including 36.4 percent from deep and 83.9 percent from the stripe. The 6-foot-8 wing also averages 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

NCAA Basketball: Utah State at Boise State
Boise State Broncos guard Derrick Alston (21) puts up a three point shot over Utah State Aggies center Neemias Queta (23) during the second half at Taco Bell Arena.
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Along with Alston, Jessup (15.5 ppg), junior Abu Kigab (15.8 ppg) and senior Roderick “RJ” Williams (11.9 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for the Broncos.

Kigab received eligibility mid-way through the season, only appearing in five games up to this point. The former Oregon transfer adds size to the frontcourt, standing at 6-foot-8. He has been efficient from the floor, shooting 50.0 percent and 46.2 percent from deep. Along with his scoring, he js averaging 5.2 rebounds in 25.4 minutes per game.

Jessup has been red hot in conference play this year. He’s averaging a team-high 23.7 points per game on 61.5 percent shooting (16-for-26) from the three-point line in three conference games. On the season, however, the 6-foot-6 sharpshooter is shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 40.0 shooting from deep, hitting a conference-best 46 threes (T-13 most in nation).

Williams leads the squad in both offensive rebounding (2.5) and total rebounding (8.3) in 21.9 minutes per contest. In his last four games coming off the bench, Williams is averaging 9.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in 18.5 minutes.

Nevada is averaging 75.6 points per game, T-5 best in the conference. The Pack are No. 7 in field goal percentage (44.0) and No. 2 in three-point percentage (37.8).

Junior Jalen Harris leads the Wolf Pack in both scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 4.0 assists per game, second-most on the team. He is shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 31.7 percent from deep.

Seniors Jazz Johnson (16.4 ppg) and Lindsey Drew (12.6 ppg) are the other two Pack players in double figures.

Johnson, the reigning MWC Sixth Man of the Year, leads the conference in three-point percentage (43 percent) and three-point makes per contest (3.1), while trailing only Jessup in total three-point makes (43).

Drew is shooting a career-best 53.1 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three. He leads the team in assists with 4.1 per game, adding 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 30.9 minutes per game. Senior Nisre Zouzoua has added a strong contribution off the bench for the Pack, averaging 9.4 points on 38.8 percent shooting in 23.6 minutes per game.

Nevada has won 13 consecutive conference home games and 26 of its last 28 conference games.

Projected Starters:

Boise State:

Nevada:

Additional Links:

Nevada Game Notes: https://bit.ly/2SY2Atk

Boise State Game Notes: https://bit.ly/2sJFwUw

Nevada is 2-0 for the fourth time in eight seasons since joining the conference