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Offensive explosion leads Nevada Basketball to 95-77 win over San Jose State

Jalen Harris totaled his fourth straight 30-point game.

Nevada Athletics Department

Another offensive borage from the Nevada men’s basketball team led to a 95-77 victory over San Jose State (7-17, 3-9) Saturday at Lawlor Events Center.

Nevada has won 32 of its last 34 conference home games, including 19 straight. The Wolf Pack have totaled 85-plus points in five out of the last six games, averaging 86.7 points in that span.

Jalen Harris led the Pack with 32 points on 13-of-23 shooting, his fourth straight 30-point game. He is the first player in school history to accomplish that feat.

“It’s been fun,” Harris said about his historic run post-game. “It’s always good to get the win though. As long as we keep getting these wins, then that’s the number one goal.”

Harris has six career 30-point games, all coming this season. The 6-foot-5 guard has tallied double-digit scoring in 21 consecutive games, averaging 22.7 points in that span. He is averaging a conference-best 25.7 points in 13 conference games.

Saturday’s win puts Nevada at 15-10 with an 8-5 conference record on the season. Nevada is T-3 with Utah State and Boise State in the Mountain West standings.

The Wolf Pack are 11-2 (.846) at home, while SJSU dips to 1-9 (.100) in true road games on the year. The Spartans have been outscored by an average of 19.8 points in their last five road games.

San Jose State mixed-in a 2-3 zone throughout a majority of the contest. Nevada shot 47.9 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.

The Pack had four double-digit scorers.

Jazz Johnson, who missed the last two games due to right shoulder soreness, returned to the starting lineup Saturday. The 5-foot-10 sharpshooter tallied 13 points on 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

Nevada totaled 39 bench points, one away from tying its season-high. Nisré Zouzoua tallied 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting with six assists in 27 minutes the bench. Kane Milling produced a career-high 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting.

Alford has been impressed with Milling’s improvement throughout the course of the year.

“We’re seeing some growth out of him,” head coach Steve Alford said. “I thought Kane was really good. I told him other than his last three minutes, I thought he was really good. I thought he played hard. I thought he played tough.”

Crisp ball movement around the hardwood was a strong component to Nevada’s success. The Pack tied their third-highest assist total on the season with 21.

The Pack defense was incredibly strong. They tied their season-high with eight steals, four coming from Lindsey Drew. Nevada also totaled six blocks, tying their second-highest mark on the season.

San Jose State shot 41.0 percent from the floor and 25 percent from 3-point range. Seneca Knight led Spartan scorers with a career-high 34 points -—13 coming in the final four minutes — on 10-of-22 shooting with a team-high eight rebounds.

“I think [Seneca Knight] is a very good player,” Alford said. “He can take you off the bounce. He has a good pull-up game. He can shoot the three and draws a lot of fouls, so I think he’s a tough matchup.”

Along with Saturday’s performance, Knight totaled 28 points in the first meeting between the two schools this season on Jan. 8.

Richard Washington added 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-9 shooting from deep. Washington has tallied double digits in his last four games, averaging 14.8 points in that span.

The Spartans were outrebounded 45-30 on the glass. Nevada finished a plus-9 on the offensive glass, corralling 13 offensive rebounds — its third highest mark on the season.

Back-to-back baskets by Harris gave Nevada a 12-8 lead with 15:10 to go in the first half. The lead was extended to 22-13 after Johnson’s layup. Back-to-back makes from Washington cut Nevada’s lead to 24-20 with 7:35 remaining.

The Wolf Pack responded with a 7-2 run — capped-off by a thunderous dunk from Zouzoua — giving them a 31-22 advantage.

Nevada poured on an avalanche walking into halftime — closing the final 4:28 on a 17-6 run. The Pack led 48-31` heading into halftime. Nevada shot 43.6 percent in the first half to SJSU’s 31 percent.

The Pack picked up right where they left off to begin the second half.

A steal-and-score from Drew, followed by two 3-pointers from Harris extended Nevada’s lead to 56-32. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Johnson gave the Pack a sizable 62-32 advantage with 15:24 remaining, forcing a Spartan timeout.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Washington, followed by a jumper from Eduardo Lane cut Nevada’s lead to 72-46 with 9:39 left in the contest.

A jumper from Johncarlos Reyes gave Nevada an 83-55 lead with 5:43 remaining. Back-to-baskets from Harris extended the Pack’s lead to 91-60.

San Jose State ended the game on a good note, finishing the final four minutes on a 17-4 run — 13 coming from Knight. But the Wolf Pack cruised to a dominant victory.

Nevada looks to sweep the Silver State series, as they hit the road to take on intrastate rival UNLV on Wednesday. Tip off will be at 7 p.m. PST.

The Wolf Pack are 1-7 (.125) on the road this season.

“Now we have to go on the road, and we have not had success on the road,” Alford said. “Obviously the road games we got left are not going to be easy, but they’re games where we decide where we can’t just play well, but we have to try to find a way to win the road game.”

The Wolf Pack improve to 15-10 on the season