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Zoe Malen / Nevada Sagebrush

The Nevada men’s basketball team rolled past the San Jose State Spartans in an 84-63 road win on Feb. 23. The win bumps the Wolf Pack to third place in the Mountain West, with an overall record of 22-6 and a conference record of 9-5.

The Wolf Pack stepped into its groove at the right time, having won six of their last seven games after their season sweep over the Spartans.

K.J. Hymes, Nevada forward, opened the scoring by taking a defensive rebound for a layup after a missed jumper from Trey Anderson, San Jose State forward. Right after that, Jarod Lucas, Nevada guard, splashed a triple. Hymes converted two free-throws to put the Wolf Pack up 7-0 with 18:35 to play.

The Spartans climbed their way back into the game with a 5-0 run that ended with a made three-pointer from Alvaro Cardenas, San Jose State guard, to cut Nevada’s lead to 7-5 at 17:36.

Both teams exchanged scores until Lucas stole the ball from Rickey Mitchell Jr., San Jose State guard, and ran it back the other way for a fast break layup to put the Pack up 18-11 with 11:25 to go. 

San Jose State refused to go away and capitalized on four Wolf Pack turnovers to go on a 10-4 run. Two free-throws from Latrell Davis, San Jose State guard, made it a one-point game at 22-21 with 5:50 remaining.

Nick Davidson, Nevada forward, responded with a made layup. Hunter McIntosh, Nevada guard, hit a contested three-pointer to give the Pack breathing room at 27-21 with 4:21 left in the half. The teams traded buckets back-and-forth for the remainder of the half, as Nevada took a 34-29 lead into the second half. 

Nevada got off to a quick start to open the second half. Davidson splashed a three-pointer and Tre Coleman, Nevada forward, converted on another to give the Pack a 40-33 advantage. 

The Spartans continued to stay in the game as they roared back on a 9-2 run, capped off by a dunk from Christian Wise, San Jose State forward, to tie the game at 42-42 with 15:27 left in the game.

With momentum shifted in the Spartan’s favor, the Wolf Pack needed a quick response. Davidson and McIntosh were the ones to answer the call. Davidson ignited the offense with two layups on back-to-back possessions; McIntosh followed  up as he poured in three three-pointers in a two-minute span to give the Pack a strong 57-42 lead. Nevada went on a 15-0 run and prevented San Jose State from securing an offensive rebound during the stretch.

Cardenas would end the Pack’s scoring run with a triple of his own until Coleman, Lucas, and Davidson hit from beyond the arc on Nevada’s next three possessions to extend the lead by  19 points at 67-48 with 6:43 left.

In the remaining minutes, both teams traded scores as Davidson and Lucas combined for 14 points. McIntosh converted his sixth three-pointer of the game to finish off a 21-point Wolf Pack victory at 84-63.

Nevada is not known for being a great team shooting from three, evidenced by their 35% splits on the season, but  flipped the script against San Jose State by making 12 threes on 57% shooting. 

Davidson led the way with a dominant 23 point, 15-rebound double-double — his sixth of this season. Lucas pitched in 20 points. McIntosh had one of his best performances of the year, as he poured in six shots from deep on 66% efficiency. 

“I’m really proud of them, I thought we had a lot of guys do a lot of good things.” Steve Alford, head coach of the Nevada men’s basketball team, said in an interview after the game. “It was an odd game,” Alford said. “We were pretty sloppy, and we had 10 turnovers in the first half. But the guys calmed down going into the second and responded the way good teams have to respond.”

The Wolf Pack will stay on the road for their next game as they travel to Fort Collins, Colo. to take on the No. 22 Colorado State Rams (20-7, 8-6 MWC) on Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

James Wolfgang Perez can be reached via email or via Twitter @JamesWPerezUNR

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