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Wolf Pack opponent preview: Nevada seeks series split versus Utah State

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

After having its four-game win streak snapped Friday, the Nevada Wolf Pack seek the series split versus the Utah State Aggies on Sunday in Logan, Utah. Tip off will be at 4 p.m. PST on Fox Sports 1.

Utah State downed Nevada Friday 75-72, the Pack’s first game since Feb. 7. They are 5-6 on the road this season, while Utah State is 8-2 at home.

Despite a current three-game skid to Utah State, Nevada has won seven of its last 11 in its meetings between the two programs.

Nevada (14-8, 9-6) vs. Utah State (15-7, 12-4)

When: Sunday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. PST

Where: Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah

TV: Fox Sports 1

Online: Fox Sports Go

Matchup history: Utah State leads 38-23

Last meeting: Utah State won 75-72 (Feb. 26, 2021)

Sunday will be the second of two battles between the two Mountain West Player of the Year candidates in Nevada’s Grant Sherfield and Utah State’s Neemias Queta.

Queta had the upper hand in the first meeting, tallying 16 points with a season-high 17 rebounds and three blocks in the winning effort. He has recorded double-doubles in three straight games with 10 total this season.

On the season, Queta is averaging 14.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and a conference-best three blocks in 28.3 minutes per game. He also leads the conference in player efficiency rating (30.5), field goal percentage (.573), total rebound percentage (19.3), block percentage (12.8), defensive rating (81.0), defensive win shares (2.1) and defensive box plus-minus (6.4).

Former Virginia transfer Marco Anthony is second on the team in scoring at 10.7 points per game. He had four points on 2-of-4 shooting with eight rebounds, one block and one steal in Friday’s meeting.

Bean, who had 19 points (on a career-most three 3-pointers) in Friday’s meeting, is averaging 10.5 points and 7.2 rebounds this season. He has made just eight 3-pointers at a 23.5 percent clip.

Sherfield has registered team-highs in points (18.5 ppg), assists (6.2 apg) and steals (1.6 spg). He is shooting 37.8 percent from the floor and 38 percent from beyond the arc. On the season, he leads the Mountain West in free throws made (105), free throws attempted (119), assists (119) and assist percentage (39.3).

Sherfield has tallied double figure scoring in 20 of Nevada’s 22 games, including 11 20-point performances.

Since conference play began, Sherfield leads the Mountain West in assists with 6.9 per game, while placing in the top-5 in scoring (18.2 ppg) and steals (1.5 spg).

Desmond Cambridge, who added a team-high 23 points (on 9-18 shooting) Friday, is averaging 15.6 points per game. Cambridge is third on the team in rebounding (4.4 rpg) and second in assists (2.5 apg).

Prediction:

  • Nevada: 77
  • Utah State: 81

After it was off for 19 days, Nevada began Friday sluggish — just hitting two of its first 13 shots. But its play on both sides of the ball picked up as the game went on. I expect Sunday to be another dog fight until the end. Utah State dominated for the first 30 minutes of the game; it’s hard to see that level of success carry over, though Craig Smith’s teams have shown that they can rise to the occasion, especially at home. Nevada will have to play one of its best games of the season to earn the victory. Season record: 15-7

Projected Starting 5:

No. 5 Nevada Wolf Pack (16-9, 10-7)

Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
G 25 Grant Sherfield Soph. 6-2 18.3 3.7 6.1 43.5 36.9
G 4 Desmond Cambridge Jr. 6-4 16.3 4.4 2.4 41.6 35.4
G 14 Tre Coleman Fr. 6-7 5.7 3.0 1.8 42.5 37.1
F 20 Daniel Foster Fr. 6-6 4.3 2.6 1.5 48.6 45.5
F 5 Warren Washington Soph. 7-0 9.6 5.8 0.8 57.4 ------ (0-1)

Utah State Aggies (15-7, 12-4)

Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
Position Number Name Class Height PPG RPG APG FG% 3P%
G 22 Brock Miller Jr. 6-5 9.5 1.9 1.0 57.3 40.8
G 44 Marco Anthony Jr. 6-5 10.7 4.8 2.9 41.3 37.0
F 10 Alphonso Anderson Sr. 6-6 6.4 2.6 0.7 43.1 38.6
F 34 Justin Bean Jr. 6-7 10.5 7.2 2.0 50.8 23.5
C 23 Neemias Queta Jr. 7-0 14.3 9.6 2.7 57.3 ------ (0-2)