Nevada started the Diamond Head Classic with an 80-56 win over Temple. Led by Jarod Lucas, Kenan Blackshear, and Nick Davidson, Nevada’s offense showed no sign of slowing down. Its defense played lockdown again, and Nevada moved to 10-1 on the season.
Nevada 35 - Temple 28
Nevada 45 - Temple 28
Final: Nevada 80, Temple 56
Despite not leading the team in scoring, Davidson and Tylan Pope shined in this one. Pope made his Nevada debut after being out with a hand injury, scoring eight points in 15 minutes of play.
Davidson broke out with his first double-double. He scored a career-high in points (19) and rebounds (16) and collected a pair of steals as well. With K.J. Hymes out with a sickness, it was Davidson and Pope who stepped up for the power forward/center role. As a team, Nevada outscored Temple 40-16 in the paint.
Lucas and Blackshear still did plenty of damage to go along with Davidson’s career game. Lucas led the team with 22 points, and Blackshear finished third in points with 16.
The Wolf Pack got their swagger back at the free throw line, shooting 17-20. As a team, they shot 29-61 and 5-20 from the three.
The Owls simply couldn’t shoot against the Pack’s defense. Temple shot 27.7 percent from the floor and 9-28 from the three. Nevada collected six blocks, seven steals, and picked up 31 defensive rebounds.
Nevada’s defense in the first half is a big reason it won this game. The Pack held the Owls to 23.5 percent shooting in the first half. Temple only shot 3-of-20 from inside the arc in the first half, allowing Nevada to build a huge lead heading into halftime.
Even with Temple starting the game with a 5-0 run, that was quickly diminished by Nevada’s defense. It’s been pretty remarkable that this Nevada team that’s smaller in size has been this dominant defensively.
Nevada will take on TCU tomorrow, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. PST. The Horned Frogs defeated Old Dominion 108-79 earlier today and will be the biggest challenge for Nevada so far. Getting past them will be a huge boost for Nevada’s NCAA Tournament chances.