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Wolf Pack Preview: No. 3 Nevada to face No. 11 Wyoming in the Quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament

Nevada v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

No. 3 Nevada (19-11, 12-6) vs. No. 11 Wyoming (8-23, 2-16)

When: Thursday, March 5 at 8:30 p.m. PST

Where: Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

TV: CBS Sports Network

Matchup Series: Wyoming leads 14-9


The No. 3 seed Nevada Wolf Pack will face No. 11 Wyoming (8-23, 2-16) in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament on Thursday. Nevada swept the regular season series versus Wyoming by a combined six points (68-67 and 73-68).

Wyoming upset No. 6 Colorado State 80-74 Wednesday in the first round. It is the first time in conference history where the 11-seed has advanced past the opening round. Five players scored in double figures for the Cowboys. Kwane Marble II led Wyoming with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

The Cowboys are last in the conference in scoring at 61.7 points per game — 7.5 fewer points than the second-worst member (Fresno State - 69.2 ppg). Wyoming sports the second-worst field goal percentage (.410) and 3-point percentage (.312).

Hunter Maldonado leads the Cowboys with 16.3 points per game. He has tallied double-digit scoring in 27 of his 31 games played this season. Maldonado shooting 43.4 percent from the floor and 29.7 percent from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-7 guard leads the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg), assists (4.0 apg) and steals (1.3 spg).

NCAA Basketball: Wyoming at Air Force
Wyoming Cowboys guard Hunter Maldonado (24) dribbles the ball up court against Air Force Falcons guard LeSean Brown (13).
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Hendricks is Wyoming’s remaining double-digit scorer at 10.1 points per game. He is shooting 33 percent from the floor and 32.3 percent from 3-point range. Hendricks is primarily a 3-point threat, attempting over 85 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Hendricks was spectacular in Wyoming’s last meeting versus Nevada, tying career highs in points (27) and 3-pointers (7).

Nevada head coach Steve Alford has an excellent track record in conference tournaments. He has won five conference tournaments in 23 full seasons (not including this year) as a Division-I head coach. Alford won two Mountain West Tournament titles with New Mexico in 2011-12 and 2012-13. He won one conference tournament at UCLA (2013-14) and two more with Iowa (2000-01 and 2005-06). Alford is 8-4 (.667) all-time in the Mountain West tournament.

The Pack led the Mountain West in scoring with 77.3 points per game. Nevada sat atop the conference in 3-point percentage (.384) and 3-pointers made per game (10.0), also finishing seventh in field goal percentage (.450).

Nevada has won six of its last seven games. The Pack’s lone loss in that stretch came in a 83-76 loss to No. 5 San Diego State in their most recent outing. Jalen Harris led the team with 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting and 4-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

Harris led Nevada and the conference with 21.8 points per game. He shot 45.4 percent from the floor and 37.2 percent from deep. Harris has scored in double figures in his last 26 games, tallying 30-plus points six times this season.

Harris averaged a conference-best 25.3 points on 49.2 percent shooting in 18 conference games. He was second on the team in rebounding (6.3 rpg), assists (3.9) and steals (1.2 spg). Harris was selected to the All-Mountain West first team and was named Newcomer of the Year Tuesday.

Jazz Johnson (15.9 ppg) and Lindsey Drew (11.1 ppg) are Nevada’s other two double-digit scorers.

Johnson, named the All-Mountain West second team Tuesday, shot 41.9 percent from beyond the arc. The 5-foot-10 sharpshooter led the conference in 3-pointers made per game (3.2) and finished second in total 3-pointers (88). Johnson has scored in double figures 25 times this season, including in 13 of his last 14 games.

Drew shot 47.9 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from deep. He led the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg), assists (4.1 apg) and steals (1.4 spg). Drew 37 points away from being the 30th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. Drew was named to the All-Mountain West Honorable Mention team and to the All-Defensive team for the second time in his career Tuesday.

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

Wyoming Cowboys

Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG%
Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG%
G 0 Jake Hendricks Sr. 6-5 10.3 4 1.2 .330
G 2 A.J. Banks Sr. 6-2 5.1 2.8 1.7 .495
G 3 Kwane Marble II Fr. 6-6 7.3 2.7 0.9 .484
G 24 Hunter Maldonado So. 6-7 16.3 5.5 4 .434
F 11 TJ Taylor So. 6-6 7.1 3.4 0.5 .485

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