After a subpar shooting series versus Wyoming last weekend, the Nevada Wolf Pack lit the nets on fire in its first game since on Sunday evening.
The Pack’s shot 56.4 percent — including a remarkable 14-of-24 (58.3 percent) from beyond the arc — cruising to a 89-60 victory over the UNLV Rebels at Lawlor Events Center, extending its win streak to a program-best seven straight over its intrastate rival. Both shooting marks, in addition to their 14 made 3-pointers were all season highs.
Nevada’s 29-point victory was its largest on the season and its most since it beat Air Force by 34 (88-54) on Feb. 4, 2020. This is UNLV’s largest defeat since it lost 83-50 against BYU on Dec. 7, 2019.
The Pack dished 21 assists on 31 field goals. Desmond Cambridge tallied a team-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 3-of-5 from deep, adding a steal plus two blocks. Grant Sherfield recorded his first career double-double. The sophomore guard had 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting with a career-high 11 assists.
K.J. Hymes and Zane Meeks put together quality performances off the bench. Hymes added a career-high 16 points with a career-most two 3-pointers in 16 minutes. Zane Meeks, who has missed the last three games due to right knee soreness, returned Sunday and totaled 11 points on 2-of-4 shooting from deep in 18 minutes.
It was announced pre-game that UNLV would be without its leading scorer, junior guard Bryce Hamilton. He averaged a team-high 18.3 points with 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
UNLV's top scorer - Bryce Hamilton - not in uniform during warmups. He's standing under the basket in sweats. Hamilton injured his ankle against NM on 1/18. Huge loss for the Rebels averaging 18.3 ppg this season— Alex Margulies (@marguliespxp) February 1, 2021
The Rebels were instead led by David Jenkins Jr. and Moses Wood, who graduated from Galena High School in Reno, Nev.
Both had 13 points apiece. Jenkins shot 4-of-12 and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Wood, starting in his fourth game, shot 4-of-15 from the floor.
Caleb Grill was the team’s only other double figure scorer, adding 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. On the game, UNLV shot just 34.4 percent and 29.6 percent from 3-point range.
Nevada advances to 11-7 and 6-5 in Mountain West play. UNLV drops to 6-8 with a 3-4 conference record.
Nevada true freshman Daniel Foster, appearing in his third career game, made his first career start Sunday. He finished with five points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal in 22 minutes.
Back-to-back makes from outside for Cambridge and Hymes awarded the Pack an early 16-7 lead with 14:00 remaining in the first half.
Meeks’ first two offensive possessions featured a made 3-pointer followed by a three-point play conversion — widening the advantage to 21-10. Nevada hit its first five shots from beyond the arc.
Two consecutive baskets by Sherfield extended the lead to 35-20. Washington’s layup made it 43-25 with 2:45 to go in the opening half.
Nevada entered halftime with a 46-30, netting a scorching 8-of-12 from beyond the arc and 63 percent overall. UNLV shot just 33.3 percent with a 35.3 3-point percentage.
The Wolf Pack went on a 10-2 run to begin the second half. The floodgates continued to pour, as Milling’s 3-pointer made it 62-36 with 14:15 remaining.
Hymes’ second 3-pointer of the game — fifth on the year — put Nevada ahead 69-41. Hymes had just two 3-pointers last season. The Rebels responded with a 9-2 run and cut it to 71-50 after a Caleb Grill’s steal-and-score. But the Pack widened it back to 31 — its largest lead of the contest.
The two square off again Tuesday at 6 p.m. PST on CBS Sports Network.