Nevada was unable to win back to back conference games as they fell to Wyoming with a score of 77-67 on Jan. 17. The Wolf Pack are now 2-2 in league with an overall record of 8-7.
Nevada played well, but ultimately a bad shooting night cost the Wolf Pack. Junior guard Grant Sherfield continues to be worth the price of admission as he showed another stellar performance. He finished with a team high 20 points, a team high eight assists and three rebounds on 8-19 shooting from the field.
Junior center Will Baker was back in the starting rotation tonight, and he turned in a solid performance. Baker had 12 points, five rebounds and one assist shooting an efficient 4-8 on field goals. Junior guard Kenan Blackshear had double digit points for the third time this year. He ended with 11 points, eight rebounds and one assist.
Senior guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. struggled to score for the second time in back to back games. He finished with six points and one assist, but he did rack up a team high nine rebounds. Junior forward Warren Washington had a quiet performance of five points and four rebounds on 2-2 shooting from the field.
The game opened up with scoring by both teams. A Cambridge jumper and Baker 3-pointer tied the game 5-5. Sherfield connected on a three and a jumper to give Nevada a 10-5 lead with 15 minutes left in the first half. Wyoming began to get hot as senior guard Drake Jeffries and sophomore forward Graham Ike poured in baskets. Jeffries hit back to back threes, but junior forward K.J. Hymes responded with two free throws and a jumper.
Nevada went on a 9-2 run due to great team offense with five different Wolf Pack players scoring baskets. Unfortunately, Wyoming once again answered with back to back 3-pointers from Jeffries. The score was tied 27-27 with five minutes to go in the half. Jeffries and Sherfield traded 3-pointers as Wyoming began to pull away. Sherfield cashed in two more baskets, and Baker added two buckets of his own to take the lead 38-37 with under a minute left. Wyoming’s Ike continued to score and cause problems for the Nevada defense. Nevada was down 40-38 at the end of the half.
The second half got off to a slow start with no points scored until Sherfield hit a jumper at the 17 minute mark. Wyoming’s Ike took over and had three straight baskets, but Nevada responded with buckets from Hymes, Washington and sophomore forward Tre Coleman. The game was tied 47-47 with 13 minutes left in the second half.
It started to go downhill from here as Wyoming continued to score and Nevada’s offense slowed down. The teams traded baskets with Wyoming getting the better of the Wolf Pack. A Blackshear 3-pointer made it a two point game, but Wyoming would then go on an 8-0 run. Nevada was down 10 with five minutes left in the second half.
A Coleman layup and another Blackshear three chipped away at the Wyoming lead to make the score 68-61. Nevada hit on six free throws in a row in response to points from Wyoming, which decreased the lead to six points with two minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, the Nevada offense went cold and the defense could not produce enough stops. Nevada lost the game 77-67.
An overall modest performance from Nevada was not enough to defeat this now 13-2 Wyoming team. Nevada failed to find an answer for the scoring of Jeffries and Ike. The Wolf Pack had a horrendous 6-30 shooting night from three, which meant there were no big time shots down the stretch to bring the pack back in the second half.
Nevada will have another tough game ahead of them when they face a 12-4 Fresno State team. The Wolf Pack will play a home game against the Bulldogs on Jan. 21.
Anthony Miranda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush