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Wolf Pack Preview: Nevada Basketball closes regular season with No. 5 San Diego State

The Pack have won their last 20 conference home games.

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

Nevada (19-10, 12-5) vs. No. 5 San Diego State (27-1, 16-1)

When: Saturday, Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. PST

Where: Lawlor Events Center

TV: ESPN2 / Watch ESPN

Matchup Series: SDSU leads 18-6

Breakdown:

Nevada men’s basketball hosts No. 5 San Diego State (27-1, 16-1) for its final regular season contest Saturday at Lawlor Events Center.

Nevada plans to honor four senior players for its senior night: Johncarlos Reyes, Nisre Zouzoua, Jazz Johnson and Lindsey Drew. Check out to see the impact each senior had during their careers at Nevada.

San Diego State looks to dethrone the 2004-05 Utah Utes — who held a 13-1 in MW play — for the best conference record in Mountain West history.

The Wolf Pack have won 33 of their last 35 conference home games, including 20 straight. Nevada is 12-2 (.857) at home, while the Aztecs are 10-0 in true road games this season.

Nevada clinched a first-round bye for the Mountain West Tournament in its win over Wyoming Tuesday.

The Pack are T-2 with Utah State in the conference standings at 12-5. Because of UNLV’s win over Boise State Wednesday, Nevada can finish now further than fourth place. If Nevada wins and Utah State loses, the Pack secure the second seed. If they lose, they will automatically be the third seed.

The Pack currently possess a season-best six-game win streak. They are also on a ten-game home win streak, outscoring their opponents by an average of 16.3 points in that span.

SDSU defeated Nevada 68-55 in its first meeting of the season in Viejas Arena. Nevada led 35-33 at halftime — the second time an opponent led versus SDSU this season. The Aztecs outscored Nevada 35-20 in the final half, holding Nevada to just five field goals on 34 second-half attempts (14.7 percent). Yanni Wetzell led the team with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting with a season-high 16 rebounds.

The Aztecs rank No. 6 in the conference in scoring at 75.1 points per game. They sport the second-best field goal percentage (.469) and 3-point percentage (.380). The Aztecs’ defense has been sensational all season, surrendering the 3rd-fewest points (58.6 ppg), 8th-lowest field goal percentage (.379) and 4th-lowest 3-point percentage (.282) nationally.

After dropping its first contest of the season to UNLV, SDSU earned a 66-60 victory over Colorado State in its most recent game. Malachi Flynn led SDSU with 17 points on 4-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Flynn — in contention with Nevada’s Jalen Harris for the Mountain West Player of the Year — leads the Aztecs in scoring at 16.9 points per game. He is shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and 36.7 percent from deep.

NCAA Basketball: San Diego State at Air Force
San Diego State Aztecs guard Malachi Flynn (22) controls the ball as Air Force Falcons guard Chris Joyce (5).
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-1 guard leads the conference in assists (5.1 apg), assist-to-turnover ratio (3.04) and steals (1.8 spg). He is the only player across Division-I to average at least 16 points, five assists with an AST/TO ratio with 3 or better.

Matt Mitchell (12.5 ppg), Wetzell (11.7 ppg) and Jordan Schakel (10.1 ppg) are the remaining double-digit scorers for the Aztecs.

Mitchell has tallied double figure scoring in each of the last seven games, averaging 16.7 points on 55.9 percent shooting in that span. He is third on the team in rebounding (4.9 rpg) and second in steals (1.1 spg).

Wetzell is second on the team in rebounding (6.5 rpg) and blocks (0.6 bpg). The 6-foot-10 forward has been the staple in SDSU’s front court since Nathan Mensah — who averaged 6.9 points and 6.8 rebounds — went out with respiratory issues earlier in the season. Since Mensah’s injury, Wetzell has averaged 12.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game.

Schakel has been one of SDSU’s best shooters this season, hitting a team-best 42.9 percent of his 3-point shots. His 2.1 3-pointers ranks second on the team behind Flynn (2.3).

The 6-foot-6 guard has reached double figures in nine of his last ten games, including five straight. He is averaging 11.3 points on 41.4 shooting from 3-point range in his last ten contests.

Nevada is averaging a conference-best 77.4 points per game. The Pack lead the conference in total 3-pointers made (290) and 3-point percentage (.382) — both ranking within the Top-15 nationally. Nevada’s offense with San Diego State’s defense creates an interesting strength-versus-strength matchup to watch out for Saturday.

The Wolf Pack picked up a 73-68 win over Wyoming Tuesday. Harris led the team with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

Harris leads Nevada and the conference in scoring with 21.7 points per game. He has reached double-digit scoring in 25 straight games, averaging 23 points over that span. Harris has totaled 18 games with 20-plus points, including 13 out of his last 16 games.

The 6-foot-5 guard is second on the team in rebounding (6.4 rpg), assists (3.9 apg) and steals (1.2 spg).

Jazz Johnson (16.0 ppg) and Lindsey Drew (11.1 ppg) are Nevada’s only other double-digit scorers.

Johnson sits atop the conference in 3-point makes per game (3.2) and second in total 3-point makes (85). He is shooting 41.8 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from 3-point range.

Drew leads the team in rebounding (6.7 rpg) and assists (4.2 apg) and steals (1.4 spg). He is Top-6 in the conference in each category. The senior guard is shooting 47.2 percent and 38.3 percent from deep.

In Nevada’s win over New Mexico, Drew became the first player in school history to accumulate 900 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Nevada Wolf Pack

Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG%
Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG%
G 14 Lindsey Drew Sr. 6-5 11.1 6.6 4.1 .479
G 22 Jazz Johnson Sr. 5-10 15.9 3.3 2 .414
G 2 Jalen Harris Jr. 6-5 21.8 6.3 3.9 .454
F 1 Robby Robinson Soph. 6-8 2.7 5 0.9 .523
F 12 Johncarlos Reyes Sr. 6-10 4.7 4.2 0.6 .556

San Diego State Aztecs

Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG%
Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG%
G 22 Malachi Flynn Jr. 6-1 16.9 4.4 5.1 .435
G 10 KJ Feagin Sr. 6-1 8.5 3.1 3.1 .377
G 20 Jordan Schakel Jr. 6-6 10.1 3.6 0.6 .454
F 11 Matt Mitchell Sr. 6-6 12.5 4.9 1.6 .481
F 5 Yanni Wetzell Sr. 6-10 11.7 6.5 1.4 .600

Additional Links:

Nevada Game Notes: https://go.aws/39gospu

SDSU Game Notes: https://go.aws/2T8uhzj

Live Stats: https://bit.ly/3aj63YT

Nevada looks to close the regular season with its seventh-straight win.
Nevada Game Notes