The Nevada Wolf Pack lost a tough neutral site game against the TCU Horned Frogs this past Friday at the Staples Center. The Wolf Pack, who had just lost a road game against Texas Tech earlier in the week, fell short of mounting a late game comeback against the Horned Frogs.
TCU jumped ahead to an early 10-2 lead in the opening minutes of the first half. However, the Wolf Pack was able to bounce back after a three point basket by Cody Martin followed by a jumper by Kendall Stephens that helped weather the initial storm.
But The Horned Frogs were able to impose their will in the interior as they outscored the Wolf Pack in points in the paint 22-14 in the first half.
The Martin twins helped keep Nevada afloat in the first half, combining for 17 points (on 7-of-14 shooting). Heading into the half, the Wolf Pack trailed the Horned Frogs by 11 points.
In the second half, the Wolf Pack tried to cut into the deficit. However, TCU was able to respond to most of the Wolf Pack’s attack by continuing to score on their end. The lead ballooned to as much as 16 points with less than 10 minutes to play in the game.
With its back against the wall, the Wolf Pack responded with a methodical 16-5 run to cut the deficit down to five points with 5:01 remaining in the game. However, despite the sustained attack by the Wolf Pack, TCU was once again able to respond late in the game. They ran off a 9-5 run led by sophomore point guard Jaylen Fisher. Following his converted free throws to stretch the lead to nine points, the Horned Frogs were able to hold off the Wolf Pack to earn its first win over a top 25 opponent this season.
The Wolf Pack will take a week long break for final examinations before taking on Radford this Sunday. This should be a good bounce back game for the Wolf Pack as Radford should pose little to no threat to them. For comparison, the Wolf Pack are ranked 29th in the nation in effective field goal percentage while Radford is ranked in the mid-200s.
Following Radford, the Wolf Pack will face UC Davis, a top 30 RPI ranked team. This should be the toughest challenge for the Wolf Pack heading into conference play. The Aggies are a solid team that has posted wins against Washington State and Pacific. They will be another team that will present another challenge for the Wolf Pack as they boast two players that are listed at 6’ 10” and 6’ 11” in Colin Russell and Matt Neufeld.
That game can be a good test to see the improvement in the Wolf Pack’s interior defense heading into conference play.Following UC Davis, Nevada wil be facing two teams both ranked in the 200s in RPI in Southern Illinois and San Francisco.
These games are part of the Las Vegas Continental Tire Classic. These games can be a challenge for the Wolf Pack as they will be playing Southern Illinois on the 22nd and then San Francisco the day after.
While both opponents should present no problem for the Wolf Pack, the back-to-back games can be a challenge for the Wolf Pack. Following the Wolf Pack’s games in Las Vegas, they will begin conference play against Fresno State at the Save Mart Center on Dec. 27. Fresno State currently has a record of 8-2 and has a six game winning streak after beating Cal Poly.