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Meeks’ career night leads Nevada past Pacific 70-58

NCAA Basketball: Golden Window Classic-Nevada at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

A second-half surge gave the Nevada Wolf Pack a 70-58 victory over the Pacific Tigers in Lawlor Events Center on Monday. It was the Pack’s first home game of the season.

That surge was fueled by Zane Meeks, who posted his first career double-double off the bench. The 6-foot-9 forward totaled a career-high 18 points — 13 in the second half — with a career-high 11 rebounds. He tied a career-best four 3-pointers on seven attempts.

Meeks has just one 3 on four attempts in the team’s first two contests. He netted 40 on a 36.4 percent clip last year.

Pacific struggled to generate points in the final half. It shot 28.1 percent and 33.8 percent on the game. The Tigers were 1-of-12 (8.3 percent) from 3-point range after halftime.

Nevada shot 43.4 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. Grant Sherfield was the Pack’s only other double-digit scorer, tallying 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting with six rebounds, six assists and a team-high three steals.

The victory improves Nevada to 3-0 on the season, while Pacific drops to 1-1.

Daniss Jenkins posted a game-high 19 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Jeremiah Bailey, who totaled 25 points in the season opener, added 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds. Broc Finstuen grabbed a team-high nine boards, scoring 10 while going 4-of-11 from the floor.

The Tigers shot a dismal 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from the free throw line, its lowest mark (min. 10 attempts) since New Year’s Eve in the 2016-17 versus Gonzaga (4-11; 36.4 percent).

Nevada’s first two baskets came from beyond the arc, starting the game 4-of-5 from that range. A pull-up jumper from Cambridge gave Nevada the early 11-6 advantage. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Price-Noel and Bailey gave the Tigers’ their first lead of the evening.

The back-and-forth contest continued.

Jenkins’ steal-and-score — capping off a self 7-0 run — gave Pacific the 25-23 lead with 8:41 remaining before halftime. After trailing 33-28 at the end of the half, the Pack strung together a 9-2 run to end the first half.

Pacific shot 38.9 percent heading into the break compared to Nevada’s 38.5 percent. The Tigers missed five of their seven free throws in the half.

Jenkins’ layup put the Tigers head 46-41 with 13:41 remaining. The Pack conducted a 16-2 run — including three Meeks 3-pointers — to give Nevada the 57-48 lead, prompting a Pacific timeout.

Nevada did not relinquish its lead for the remainder of the game.

A jump pass from center Warren Washington to Meeks for the slam gave the Pack a 59-50 lead with 5:45 to go. Sherfield’s acrobatic and-1 conversion awarded the Pack with a 66-55 lead.

The Tigers were feisty on both ends of the ball, but failure to make shots on a stout Pack defense halted their chance at a victory.