Nevada basketball continued its hot streak in Las Vegas on Thursday with an 89-82 victory over No.4 seeded Boise State in the Mountain West quarterfinals. It will face the overall No.1 seeded Aztecs in the semifinals on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Entering the tournament as the No. 5 seed, the Wolf Pack shot 50.8 percent from the field (31-of-61) while also shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (9-of-18). Nevada’s potent backcourt of Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge put on a show against the Broncos.
Sherfield—who was recently named Mountain West Newcomer of the Year—continued his impressive season with 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting and going a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc with three steals. Not to mention his running mate Cambridge, who did it on both ends of the floor, pouring in a season-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting with two blocks and two steals.
Despite how well Nevada’s backcourt played, center Warren Washington served as the unsung hero down low. Washington, who averaged 9.3 points and 5.5 rebounds a game this regular season, recorded his third double-double of the year with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
From the tip-off, Nevada was in control for the majority of the game. Cambridge scored 13 of his 31 points within the first 8 minutes of the game, leading Nevada to a 15-4 run. There was a moment of slight concern for the Pack when the Broncos went on a 13-4 run starting at the 2:43 mark in the first half, all the way to the 17:04 mark in the second half cutting the Wolf Pack lead to just three. However, Nevada stayed composed and had a 9-1 run of their own to give themselves an 11 point lead with 12:38 to go in the game and cruised the rest of the way.
As this was a great win for the Pack, they’ll have their toughest challenge yet facing them Friday night against the No. 1 seeded Aztecs. SDSU has won 12 straight contests dating back to January 22nd, including back-to-back wins against Nevada on Jan. 7 and Jan. 9.
Fans can expect a battle between these two teams in the Thomas & Mack Center tomorrow, with Nevada needing a win to get into the conference finals and have a shot at the NCAA tournament.
Noah Nobert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.