Nevada’s six-game win streak was snapped Saturday in a 83-76 loss to No. 5 San Diego State on Senior Night at Lawlor Events Center. Nevada’s 20-game conference home win streak was also snapped in the process.
San Diego State’s 17-1 conference record dethrones the 2004-05 Utah Utes (13-1) for the best conference record in Mountain West history.
Nevada held a postgame ceremony to honor its four senior players: Johncarlos Reyes, Jazz Johnson, Nisre Zouzoua and Lindsey Drew. Here is more on each player and what they meant for Nevada.
Drew reflected on his final moments in Lawlor Events Center.
“Time was going by pretty slow because I just kept back and thinking back of everything,” Drew said postgame. “I was trying to hold in some tears. I am pretty sure my eyes were watering the whole time. It was a special moment. I couldn’t thank the community enough.”
Johnson soaked in how much this moment meant to him and his family.
“This kind of day is the pinnacle of it all,” Johnson said. “You work so hard your entire life and then you get to end your last year and your family is there. I wish it could have ended in a win, but it’s everything that I was able to have my family and my second family in Reno there.”
The Pack shot 49.1 percent and 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. Crisp ball movement around the hardwood led to 21 Nevada assists on 26 baskets.
The Mountain West Player of the Year battle relayed into Saturday’s contest. Jalen Harris and Malachi Flynn traded baskets throughout the contest.
Harris led the Pack with 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting and 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. Flynn countered with a career-high 36 points on 13-of-20 shooting and 3-of-6 from deep. Flynn, who led the Mountain West in assists (5.1 apg) heading into Saturday, totaled a team-high five assists.
Harris has 26 consecutive games with double-digit scoring. The 6-foot-5 guard finished conference play averaging 25.3 points in 18 conference games. Harris tallied a team-high five assists in the losing effort.
Drew and Johnson finished with 13 points apiece. Drew shot 5-of-7 from the field with four rebounds and three assists. Johnson canned three 3-pointers on seven attempts.
San Diego State shot 52.8 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from 3-point range.
“Flynn is an awfully good player,” head coach Steve Alford said postgame. “I’ve seen enough of him at Washington State, let alone San Diego State. got away from us. We couldn’t stop his actions … he created offense for himself and created offense for others.”
The Aztecs only other double-digit scorer was KJ Feagin. He added 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting from 3-point range.
Matt Mitchell’s dunk gave the Aztecs an early 10-9 advantage. Harris’ 3-pointer gave Nevada the 12-10 advantage. Zouzoua’s 3-point basket extended the Pack’s lead to 17-10 with 13:38 remaining.
Both teams continued to trade leads. Drew’s floater gave Nevada the 32-29 advantage. Harris’ 3-pointer gave Nevada a 39-33 lead with 3:20 remaining.
Nevada had a 45-36 halftime lead. Just three players scored for SDSU in the first half (Flynn - 22, Feagin - 9, Mitchell - 5). The Pack shot 56.7 percent and 50 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. SDSU shot 54.2 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from deep.
The Pack took a 52-39 lead with 16:52 remaining after Drew’s 3-pointer. SDSU responded with a 19-5 run, gaining the 58-57 lead with 12:35 left.
After trailing 66-60, the Aztecs scored 13 consecutive points. The Wolf Pack cut SDSU’s lead to 77-74 after Zouzoua’s 3-pointer, but was unable to cut the lead to within three points. Flynn’s gave SDSU an 81-76 advantage and iced the Aztec victory.
Saturday’s loss drops slots Nevada in as the 3-seed for the Mountain West Tournament, finishing the regular season 19-11 with a 12-6 conference record. The Pack will face the winner between Colorado State/Wyoming on Thursday, March 6 at 8:30 p.m.
“It’s gonna be a fight,” Alford said. “Whoever you get, it’s gonna be a battle. This tournament should be very exciting for the fans because there is a lot of balance and when you get on a neutral floor, anything can happen.
We’re playing well. We had a great February, which is usually what you want to do heading into March. Our guys have done a lot of good things … you’re not promised a lot of games in March, so you’re playing to advance … we’re much more prepared than we were a month.”
That's Mountain West POY Jalen Harris with the first bucket of the night!#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/GONivrUZdG— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
Was there rain in the forecast tonight?? ️ ️#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/gtVdteOJRY— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
Jalen "MW Player of the Year" Harris looking smoooooth.#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/ZTs6S7JrMq— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
Coast ➡️ coast to make it a three-point lead for the Pack!#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/zSC71nErDC— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
Who else would you want taking the final shot of the half but the Mountain West POY?#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/NtAUq1onWj— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
Making a very hard floater look very easy.#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/ZowYf8L80n— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
At this point, what're you even jumping for? Jalen with ANOTHER three!#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/gFbU5L6JKU— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
D E N I E D#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/H8kcvDbinu— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
BANG! Down 3 with two minutes to play!#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/ACLuIHjR2T— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020
The Pack battled through the end, but it wasn't in the cards.#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/WNw893rgr9— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) March 1, 2020