by Stone Harper
Nevada came into its week- end with Boise State as an underdog. Boise State had won nine of its last 10 games and has arguably the best player in the Mountain West Conference in guard Derrick Marks. The Wolf Pack’s chances of victory did not improve when it was announced that guard Marqueze Coleman and forward Kaileb Rodriguez would be suspended indefinitely.
With the loss of two of its integral pieces, the Wolf Pack did not really stand a chance and was dominated by the Broncos in its 78-46 loss.
“I told the guys, ‘When you have a distraction like this, when you have two key guys who miss the game and you play a makeshift lineup and don’t have time to practice, these kind of games happen,’” head coach David Carter said to the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Especially when you go against a team like Boise, one of the best teams we’ve seen this season.”
Nevada trailed by as many as 29 points and did not have the lead at any point in the game. Nevada’s defense was nowhere to be found during the game and struggled to contain the Broncos and the high-scoring Marks who chipped in 18 points. The Wolf Pack allowed the Broncos to shoot 56 per- cent from the field in the first half and 57 percent during the second half.
“They were hitting the open shots and the contested shots,” D.J. Fenner said during an interview with the RGJ. “We felt good coming out. Mike hit a shot. It was 4-4 and I thought, ‘Oh, we’re here to play.’ When they started hitting a couple of threes and we made a couple
of mistakes, we let that get to our head and we let their lead multiple.”
The offense did not shine either. The Wolf Pack shot 40 percent from the field in the first half. The second half was even uglier as Nevada was only able to connect on eight field goals while shooting a horrid 32 percent from the field. The Wolf Pack also continued to struggle shooting the ball from the three-point line as the Pack only connected on one of its 12 three-pointers.
“We missed a couple of easy ones early,” Carter said to the RGJ. “When you’re on the road, or even at home, it sets the tone. Instead of being down 9-8, it’s 9-4 and then 12-4. We missed three or four easy shots around the rim and you can’t do that. You’re breaking them down defensively but you’re not making them pay.”
Fenner paced Nevada with a team-high 13 points. However, no other Wolf Pack player was able to cross the double-digit mark, including three players who were held scoreless in the game. The big story was how well Boise State played junior AJ West. Nevada’s leading scorer was held to six points, his lowest mark during conference play.
With the loss, Nevada falls to 8-18 (4-10 MW ) and are losers of two straight. Nevada will get two chances to end its losing streak when it travels to San Jose State on Wednesday. The Wolf Pack will then head back home on Saturday to host Air Force.
“I’m going to go back and evaluate it,” Carter said during an interview with the RGJ. “I’m very disappointed. When you have a year that we’re having, we’re trying to get better, we’re trying to stay positive and then this happens, as a coach, it’s very disappointing. In my mind, I don’t know when they’re going to come back, to be honest with you. We’ve never had anything like this happen during the season. It’s just very, very disappointing.”
Stone Harper can be reached at sharper@sagebrush. unr.edu and on Twitter @StoneHarperNVSB.