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Shorthanded Pack drop fourth straight game, falling to Fresno State 73-56

Nevada has lost five of their last six games, including four straight against MWC competition for the first time since 2014-15.

NCAA Basketball: Mountain West Conference Tournament- San Diego St vs Nevada Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Fresno State Bulldogs snapped their nine-game losing streak versus the Nevada Wolf Pack Friday, picking up a 73-56 home win to earn its 10th victory at SaveMart center this season.

The matchup’s losing streak dated back to Jan. of 2017, when Fresno State escaped with the 81-76 victory at Lawlor Events Center; Coincidentally, Nevada’s most recent win this season was against the Bulldogs — 77-73 — on Jan. 21, exactly five years to the date of their last loss against their longtime foe.

While it was shorthanded — playing without both Grant Sherfield (foot), one of the Mountain West’s best point guards, plus starting center Warren Washington (hand) due to injury for the second consecutive game — Nevada’s struggles against superior competition continue, dropping to 2-10 against Quad 1 or 2 opponents, including winless in four swings against Quad 1 foes. The Wolf Pack have been outscored by a combined 149 points (12.4 ppg) in such games.

They’ve now lost five of its last six games — including four straight conference games for the first time since the 2014-15 season — also matching its longest losing streak of the season.

On the evening, it shot 42.2 percent, 37.5 percent from beyond the arc and 57.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Note: In both meetings against Fresno this season, the Wolf Pack combined to shoot 26-for-50 (52.0 percent) from the charity stripe; they’ve netted a combined 78.7 percent of their free-throw attempts against every other opponent this season.

Nevada guard Desmond Cambridge, who came off the bench for the first time all season, tallied his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds — both teams highs — shooting 6-for-13 from the floor and 2-of-4 from distance.

Kenan Blackshear finished with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, though he fouled out after 26 minutes. Will Baker, who also battled foul trouble throughout the evening — specifically in the second half — totaled 14 points with four rebounds. Tre Coleman added eight points, hitting multiple 3-pointers (2) for the first time all season.

Fresno State netted 46.3 percent of its field goal attempts and 41.7 percent of its 3-point attempts.

Anthony Holland recorded his second double-double of the season, posting 21 points — one of tying his season high — on 7-of-12 shooting with 10 boards. He hauled in double-digit boards for the second time in three games.

Dynamic center Orlando Robinson, who’s arguably the frontrunner for Mountain West player of the year who is projected to be a second round pick in next year’s NBA Draft, tallied 15 points with six rebounds, three assists with one block. Isaiah Hill had 14 points, dishing out a team-high six assists.

Nevada falls to 9-11 on the season and 3-6 in MWC play; Fresno State improves to 16-6 and 6-3 in conference competition.

Fresno State’s Donovan Yap’s steal followed by Holland’s layup over Baker’s outstretched arms gave Fresno State the 17-8 lead with 11:38 remaining in the first half, prompting a Wolf Pack timeout. Coleman’s triple — his eighth of the season — trimmed it to 18-15.

At one point, the Wolf Pack went over six minutes without scoring a point, but still kept the contest within two possessions. Ballard’s 3-point conversion widened Fresno’s lead to 26-20 with 2:26 left in the opening half.

The Bulldogs concluded the final 1:03 of the first half on a 7-0 run, leading at halftime 33-24. They shot 37.9 percent and 25.0 percent from 3-point range; Nevada shot 31.8 percent, though it converted on three of its six 3-point attempts in the game’s first 20 minutes.

Fresno State began to pull away out of the break. Holland’s two straight triples extended its lead to 48-33. Yap’s layup made it 53-37 with 11:40 left.

Blackshear’s three-point play conversion trimmed it to 10 with under six minutes to go, but it wasn’t enough. Fresno State clinched its 10th home victory of the season by closing the final 5:30 on a 16-7 run.

Next up: The Wolf Pack continue their three-game-in-five-day stretch at San Diego State on Sunday. Tip-off will be at 1 p.m. PST on CBS Sports Network.