It was by far the biggest and most energized win for Nevada so far this season. The heated rivalry between Nevada and San Diego State was strong last season, and the Wolf Pack welcomed the reigning national champion runner-up into a sold-out Lawlor.
After taking a brutal 71-59 loss in San Diego a few weeks ago, Nevada pushed through overtime to take down the No. 24 ranked team in the nation. It was a historic win for the Wolf Pack, as it marks the first time in program history they’ve defeated ranked teams in back-to-back games. It also marks the fifth Quad 1 win for Nevada thus far.
Between fouls, tight defense, and a very late foul that ended up going Nevada’s way, you can’t blame the student section for storming the court.
San Diego State 27 - Nevada 30
San Diego State 33 - Nevada 30
San Diego State 6 - Nevada 10
Final (OT): San Diego State 66, Nevada 70
It was a defensive-led game by both sides, but Nevada’s offense was still able to prevail.
Nevada shot 46.2 percent from the field as a team, with three players collecting double-digit points. Kenan Blackshear stamped his name on the court, leading Nevada in points with 22. He also picked up four rebounds, an assist, and two steals, while shooting 8-15.
Jarod Lucas was second in scoring with 15 points while collecting 5 rebounds and two assists. Nick Davidson was right behind with 14 points and was responsible for tying the game with five seconds left off a rebound.
Tre Coleman picked up seven points and saw the most minutes on the court with 40. He picked up three rebounds and four assists and scored what went on to be the go-ahead basket with 12 seconds left in OT.
Both teams didn’t shoot well from the three, with Nevada only shooting 3-13 from beyond the arc. Lucas and Coleman were the only two to make threes, with Lucas shooting 2-4 and Coleman shooting 1-6.
The free throw shooting was tough to watch for the Wolf Pack. They shot 59.4 percent from the line, but the missed shots hit hard. Davidson missed a free throw in the final seconds of regulation that could’ve been the game-winner. Blackshear missed half of his free throw shots, and Lucas’ solo missed shot came up in a tied game with two minutes left of regulation.
It was a rough offensive performance against an even tougher and ranked opponent. While the attack in the paint and drawing fouls remains solid, making the free throws is something Nevada has to get back to more consistently. The Pack have done great all season from the line, so my worries aren’t too high.
Aztecs star Jaedon LeDee was the Wolf Pack killer in the last matchup, and he continued to cause issues for Nevada in this one. He led San Diego State with 20 points while picking up seven rebounds and an assist.
LeDee’s most damage came from free throw shooting, going 12-14 from the line and only 4-8 from the field.
San Diego State shot 40.8 percent from the field, just under Nevada’s. The Aztecs were just as bad at three-point shooting as Nevada was, going 3-19.
Free throw shooting is what boosted San Diego State, as it shot 85.2 percent from the free throw line. It was all thanks to fouls, which both teams struggled with.
Both teams combined for 52 personal fouls, with Nevada closely winning that battle 25-27. Nevada center K.J. Hymes fouled out late in the second half, as did Aztecs guard Lamont Butler.
San Diego State had two players, including LeDee, reach four fouls. Nevada had three players (Blackshear, Lucas, and Davidson) with four fouls to add to Hymes’ five.
Turnovers were also a tough number, as both squads picked up 16 each. There was also a plethora of steals, with Nevada picking up eight and San Diego State picking up seven.
Rebounding was a close matchup, but Nevada was able to win that battle 34-32.
After beating No. 22 and 24, Nevada gets to play yet another ranked opponent in New Mexico. The No. 25 ranked team already defeated Nevada as well back on Jan. 28 in the pit.
Nevada will be home as Lawlor has another chance to be sold out. Three straight wins over ranked teams for the Pack would be beyond huge for not only their NCAA Tournament hopes, but the Mountain West won’t be so far out of reach.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.