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Chase Dulude / Nevada Sagebrush

The Nevada men’s basketball team upset the Boise State Broncos 76-66 in their own state of Idaho on March 5, taking the win. The win boosted the Wolf Pack to second place in the Mountain West Conference, with a record of 25-6 and 12-5 in conference play. 

The Pack split the season series against the Broncos, avenging a 64-56 loss at home on Jan. 12.

O’Mar Stanley, Boise State forward, opened the scoring, as he connected on a step back jumper. Tre Coleman, Nevada forward, spaced out the defense, draining a corner three for the Pack right afterwards. 

After Stanley tried for a three on the Broncos’ next possession that fell short of the mark, Jarod Lucas, Nevada guard, snagged the rebound and found Kenan Blackshear, Nevada guard, who fought his way to the basket for a layup. After another Bronco miss, Lucas led the Pack down the court and converted on a long jumper. Nevada took an early 7-2 lead with 16:26 in the first half. 

Despite the early deficit, the Broncos fought back. Tyson Degenhart, Boise State forward, burst through the middle for a tough layup. Lucas tried a long three that bounced off the backboard, which kickstarted a scoring drought for the Pack. 

The Bronco’s took advantage as Cam Martin, Boise State forward, stormed through the paint for a layup. Following a missed jumper from Nick Davidson, Nevada forward, a fast break opportunity happened for the Broncos as Max Rice, Boise State guard, connected on a turnaround jumper over Coleman. Nevada trailed 8-7 as 12:35 remained.

Lucas was the one to answer after the Pack fell down, as he spaced out the defense and knocked down a contested three to put Nevada up by two. 

Degenhart worked his way through the defense and put up a layup to tie the game.  The tie did not last long, as Lucas found Hunter McIntosh, Nevada guard, for an open three on the next possession, as the Pack took a 13-10 lead with 11:14 to go.

Despite Nevada’s advances, Boise State continued to fight midway through the first half. Degenhart made the Broncos’ first three of the game. Nevada was not holding back, as McIntosh continued to fire away, sinking another triple to keep the Pack in the lead. Tylan Pope, Nevada forward, splashed in a three of his own and banked in a fast break layup as the Wolf Pack led 21-17 with 7:54 to play.

However, the Broncos knocked down two triples, as another Degenhart three pointer saw the Pack trail by two. Lucas quickly responded with a contested jumper over the head of Roddie Anderson III, Boise State guard, to tie the game at 23.

With momentum starting to swing, McIntosh continued to heat up. The guard splashed back-to-back threes and banked in a layup to give the Pack a 31-25 advantage going into the final 1:34 of the half.

Threes continued to rain down, as Lucas sank his second three of the game. Nevada took a six point lead at 35-29 after one half, led by McIntosh who scored 14 points and shot 4-4 from downtown.

After the break, the Pack’s offensive surge continued. K.J. Hymes, Nevada forward, joined the action with a turn-around jumper and Daniel Foster, Nevada guard, connected on another Wolf Pack three. The team jumped out to a 10 point lead, 40-30 with 18:37 left in the game.

Boise State continued to stick around, with Degenhart making two free throws and a layup, and Stanley banked in his own layup, finishing off a Boise State 6-0 run to cut Nevada’s lead at 40-36 with 16:09 to go.

With the lead slipping away, Lucas ended the Pack’s scoring drought as he sank two pairs of free throws. McIntosh drove his way to the rim and put in a step back layup to put the Pack back up by 10 at 46-36 as 14:30 remained.

Buckets were traded back and forth, as Davidson individually matched the Broncos point for point. Davidson converted on his first three pointer of the game and was fouled on a layup for a successful three point play. The Pack led 52-42 as 11:21 remained.

The Broncos closed the gap to eight points in the final minutes of the game, but the Pack matched the Broncos offensive intensity for the rest of the matchup. McIntosh went 2-2 from three during this stretch, which forced Boise State to foul. Nevada connected on 12-18 of their free throws to seal the upset road victory at 76-66.

McIntosh led the Pack with 26 points and four steals off the bench for the best game in his Nevada career. The guard broke a school record for most threes without a miss during the game, as he went 6-6 from beyond the arc. Lucas pitched in 19 points and Blackshear in his return from injury scored a respectable 11 points.

The three ball continues to remain a strength of the Wolf Pack offense, as the team shot a collective 12-24 from three, their fourth straight game shooting 44 percent or better. Nevada’s bench rose to the occasion as well, out-scoring Boise State’s bench 34-13.

“These are the moments last year I came back for,” said McIntosh in a post-game interview. “I think these last few games I’ve been able to get into a good rhythm.”

Nevada has played their best ball at the right time, as they ride a six-game win streak, with nine wins in their last ten games.  

“We’ve won five road games in this league in a row, in really tough environments.” Coach Alford head coach of the Nevada men‘s basketball team said. “You had two teams tonight who are playing really good basketball. We won both halves, our bench was great, and our starters did a lot of good things. We got a lot of production out of a lot of guys.”

The Wolf Pack will conclude the regular season at home against their in-state rival the UNLV Rebels (19-10, 12-5 MWC) on March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
James Wolfgang Perez can be reached via email or via Twitter @JamesWPerezUNR

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