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Nevada battles back to beat UC Davis 80-68

It started ugly, but Nevada bounced back.

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

Nevada finds themselves 7-0 after taking down UC Davis 80-68. This was the first game Nevada truly faced adversity and had to battle from behind. Despite the shaky start (and some uncontrolled refs), the Wolf Pack were able to remain undefeated.

Scoring Summary

1st Half: UC Davis 27, Nevada 29

2nd Half: UC Davis 41, Nevada 51

Final: UC Davis 41, Nevada 51

What Went Right

There was a LOT of fouls in this one. Jarod Lucas and UC Davis’ Ty Johnson started the game pretty physically. Both teams combined for 49 personal fouls and five technical fouls. Nevada capitalized off of UC Davis’ 32 personal fouls with its free throw shooting.

The Wolf Pack shot 32-44 from the free throw line and compared to the Aggies 10-14. Lucas led Nevada’s free throw shooting going 13-15. He finished the night with 13 points, five rebounds, and an assist.

The Aggies turned the ball over 20 times, allowing the Wolf Pack to score 28 points off of turnovers. Despite having to fight from behind, Nevada still led both halves of the game.

It was once again the Kenan Blackshear game. He finished the game shooting 10-18 with 25 points. Blackshear’s ability to maneuver the paint and find ways to score has been incredible. Steve Alford said a few weeks ago that Blackshear has been getting attention from the NBA and rightfully so.

Nevada’s bench also came up big in this one by scoring 20 points. UC Davis’ bench was only able to score nine, although the Aggies did have two starters reach double digits.

What Went Wrong

Nevada’s game all season had been jumping out early. It’s a big reason why the Pack are undefeated, but this was one big change. Nevada trailed for about 18 minutes of gameplay, which was an unusual spot for the Pack.

Nevada was being outrebounded and outshot for almost all of the first half. The Wolf Pack broke out to an 11-2 run at the half but remained down. The second half was a big turnaround, but it was odd to see Nevada start flat.

It showed great promise in Nevada’s ability to fight back. It’s something that it can’t get too confident of, especially with teams such as Drake, Temple, and possibly TCU coming up.

UC Davis did well at disrupting Nevada’s offense early on. There were so many plays where it felt like the Aggies knew what the Wolf Pack wanted to do before it happened.

Nevada did play pretty small in this one, and at one point had five guards on the court. Big men K.J. Hymes and Jazz Gardner played 25 minutes combined, and Nick Davidson ran into some foul trouble throughout the game.

What’s Next

Nevada will head down to Henderson, Nevada for its first neutral site game on Saturday. Nevada will face Drake, who is currently 8-1. It’ll be the Wolf Pack’s toughest competition on paper so far, and its undefeated season will be put to the test. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PST.