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Nevada fights back to take down Hawaii 72-66

A big win before the upcoming tournament.

Syndication: Reno Gazette Journal JASON BEAN/RGJ / USA TODAY NETWORK

Nevada began a long trip to Hawaii on Sunday against the Rainbow Warriors. After trailing by a point in the first half, Nevada was able to surge past Hawaii to collect a 72-66 win. The Wolf Pack improved to 9-1 on the season, dropping the Rainbow Warriors to 7-2.

Scoring Summary

1st Half- Nevada 36 - Hawaii 37

2nd Half- Nevada 36 - Hawaii 29

Final: Nevada 72, Hawaii 66

What Went Right

It was another solid game for Nevada’s starting five, as they all collected double-digit points. Lucas led the scoring for Nevada with 16 points. He was also perfect from the free throw line, shooting 5-5.

Kenan Blackshear had an off night, shooting 5-18 from the field. Still, he scored 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists. He also came in clutch towards the end of the game, giving Nevada a three-point advantage with a little over a minute left. Within the final seconds, Blackshear and Daniel Foster prevented Hawaii from a potential tying or go-ahead score by getting a turnover. This led to some game-sealing free throws to put the game away for Nevada.

Nevada also did well at getting Hawaii to foul. The Rainbow Warriors committed 22 personal fouls, and top players such as Bernardo Da Silva and Mor Seck for Hawaii found themselves in foul trouble. This allowed the Pack to burst through in the second half and ultimately get the win.

What Went Wrong

Both teams couldn’t get it going from the field in this one. Nevada finished this game shooting 42 percent, barely above Hawaii’s 40 percent. The three-point shot was once again weak, as the Pack shot 3-14 from deep.

Both teams traded off going cold from the field, including Nevada with about five minutes left of the game. An eight-point lead for Nevada quickly disappeared during this time, allowing Hawaii to tie the game. Fortunately for the Wolf Pack, some clutch shots from Lucas and Tyler Rolison made the Rainbow Warriors’ shooting freeze back up.

Something new for Nevada in this one was getting out-free-throwed. Nevada has done excellent all season. controlling the free throw game, but Hawaii outshot Nevada by 13 attempts from the free throw line. The Pack finished the night 19-23 from the line, as Hawaii finished 25-36.

What’s Next

Nevada will stay in the state of Hawaii to begin the Diamond Head Classic. The first of three games for Nevada will begin on Thursday, Dec. 21 against Temple. This tournament will be an excellent chance for Nevada to build its resume against NCAA Tournament-level opponents. With teams such as TCU or Old Dominion on the horizon, starting with a win against Temple will give this Nevada team a lot more attention.