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Nevada surges late, falls short to Utah State 75-72

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 09 Nevada at San Diego State Photo by Justin Fine/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team fell short of completing its 21-point comeback attempt, falling 75-72 to the Utah State Aggies Friday evening in Logan, Utah. Nevada has its four-game win streak snapped and falls to 5-6 in road meetings this season.

Back-to-back triples from Nevada guards Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge trimmed it to 71-67 with 1:16 to go, but Nevada could not complete the monstrous comeback. Nevada forward Robby Robinson cut it to 71-69 with 32.1 seconds remaining.

Utah State freshman guard Steven Ashworth, a 90 percent free throw shooter entering Friday, knocked two free throws that made it 73-69 with 23 seconds to go.

A Pack turnover spurred an immediate foul with 10 seconds remaining. Brock Miller made 1-of-2 free throws to make it 74-69. Daniel Foster’s 3-pointer cut it to 74-72 followed by Ashworth making 1-of-2 attempts from the charity stripe.

Desmond Cambridge’s three-quarter court heave as time expired fell short, giving the Aggies the nail-biting victory.

Friday marked Nevada’s first game in 19 days after two series were postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Its four-game win streak was the longest of the season to date.

Nevada drops to 14-8 with a 9-6 conference record on the season. Utah State improves to 15-7 and 12-4 in conference-play.

The Pack netted just 41.4 percent of its shots — 46.9 percent in the second half — knocking down half of their 26 3-point attempts.

Desmond Cambridge tallied a team-high 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. K.J. Hymes had 15 points — 13 coming in the second half — and went 5-for-12 from the floor.

Nevada leading scorer Grant Sherfield (18.2 ppg) had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting. True freshman Tre Coleman added 10 points and tied Foster with team-high five rebounds.

Despite clanking nine of its last 10 field goal attempts, Utah State still shot 44.2 percent from the floor and 52.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Justin Bean and Neemias Queta both recorded double-doubles. Justin Bean tallied 19 points — two short of a season high — 10 rebounds. Bean, who was 5-for-29 (17.2 percent) from 3-point range entering Friday, went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Queta, the Mountain West’s most dominant big man, tallied 16 points and grabbed a season-high 17 boards. Queta has recorded double-doubles in three consecutive games and has 10 all year.

Alphonso Anderson and Miller both tallied 10 points apiece with three 3-pointers apiece (their only field makes).

In large part, Bean and Queta fueled the Aggies’ dominance on the glass. They finished a plus-10 (38-28) in the rebounding battle and plus-five (11-6) on the offensive glass, converting to 11 second-chance points compared to Nevada’s eight.

After a few early clock malfunctions, Utah State jumped out to an early 6-0 lead. Nevada missed nine of their first 11 shots.

Queta, who was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, tallied three blocks in the first seven minutes of the contest.

Coleman’s 3-pointer gave the Pack a 12-11 lead — their first lead of the night. Utah State capped off a 12-2 run with Anderson’s 3-pointer, giving the Aggies the 30-18 with 3:24 remaining, prompting a Wolf Pack timeout.

Back-to-back baskets from Cambridge cut the lead to 11, but it increased to 39-23 after another Anderson make from deep.

Utah State entered halftime with a 41-25 lead. It shot 48.4 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. Nevada shot 34.6 percent and 50 percent from deep.

Trailing by as much as 21, the Pack cut it to 57-43 after K.J. Hymes’ layup. Bean’s layup widened it back up to 64-46 with 11 minutes remaining.

Nevada continued battling back. Cambridge’s fourth 3-pointer trimmed it to 67-58 with 5:14 remaining, prompting an Aggie timeout.

Back-to-back triples from Sherfield and Cambridge trimmed it to 71-67 with 1:16 to go, but the Aggies did not relinquish its lead in the late comeback attempt.

Up Next:

The two teams meet again Sunday at 4 p.m. PST on Fox Sports 1.