A late second-half push awarded Nevada a 79-72 victory over San Diego, behind dominant performances from the dynamic guard duo of Desmond Cambridge Jr. and Grant Sherfield.
USD tied it at 67 after a thunderous two-handed jam from Josh Parrish. A jump hook over the left shoulder of Nevada’s Zane Meeks gave it the 69-67 lead. It extended its advantage to 72-67 lead after a steal from Sherfield, who fed the open Cambridge for a wing 3-pointer.
The Toreros trimmed it to 74-72 with under a 1:36, but weren’t able to muster up a strong enough comeback to earn their first victory of the season.
Five free throws from true freshman Tre Coleman — who recorded just two makes on his first 11 attempts (18.2 percent) from the charity stripe entering the contest— put the game out of reach.
Cambridge totaled a 27 points and netted seven threes — both season highs — on 11 attempts. In the last two contests, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard has averaged 25.5 points on 47.1 percent shooting — with a team-most 13 3-pointers — in the last two contests.
Grant Sherfield, who was the team’s leading scorer entering Monday (16.3 ppg), was not far behind with 25 points. He went 9-for-18 from the floor and added team-highs in assists (7) with rebounds (6).
Nevada netted 45.8 percent of its shots on the evening, including 47.6percent from 3-point range. Its 79 points is its season-high versus Division-I opponents this year.
The Pack finished its non-conference slate at 5-2, while San Diego drops to 0-2.
San Diego, who trailed 48-36 in the second half, climbed back into the contest on a 21-4 run. The run was largely conducted from 15 straight points from Frankie Hughes, who finished with a team-high 22 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.
San Diego hit just 38.1 percent of its shots and 34.4 percent of its 3-pointers. Joey Calcaterra, who totaled a team-high 18 points in its season-opener, tallied 12 points on just 3-of-12 shooting.
San Diego forward Yauhen Massalski’s shot blocking presence was established immediately, blocking two shots on the first possession of the ballgame.
A lob conversion — plus the foul — from Washington put the Pack up 8-4 early. The Pack’s first 3-pointer of the game came with 10:38 left from Huseinovic.
A catch-and-shoot three and slam from Cambridge gave Nevada the 27-22 lead with 5:32 left in the half.
Back-to-back close-range makes from San Diego’s Vladamir Pinchuk tied the contest at 26, but Nevada netted two more baskets to push the lead to 31-26 at halftime.
Eight consecutive points from Cambridge widened the Pack lead to 38-28 — its first double-digit lead of the night.
The second-half quickly turned to the Frankie Hughes show.
Hughes 16 straight points put the Toreros ahead 57-52 — capping-off a 21-4 run — with 9:48 to go.
Nevada re-took the 60-59 lead after a 3-pointer from Cambridge (his sixth) but the lead shifted back in USD’s favor after a make from the outside from Ben Pyle.
The contest was back-and-forth until the waning minutes of the game. Nevada’s late surge led to the eventual victory, with San Diego unable to mount a comeback.