The second-career double-double from senior Tyron Criswell and strong second half performances from senior Marqueze Coleman and freshman Cameron Oliver lifted the Nevada men’s basketball team to a 79-71 victory over Drake in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge on Saturday afternoon at Lawlor Events Center.
Coleman scored 19 points and Oliver matched his career-best with 17 points, all in the second half, on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. Criswell grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and scored 10 points. Nevada moved to 4-0 at home with the victory and gave the program its best start since beginning the 2006-07 season 9-1.
Coleman scored the games’ first five points but Drake kept it close and gave itself its first and only lead of the contest, 22-21, on a 3-pointer from Kale Abrahamson with 5:22 to play in the first half. The Wolf Pack would quickly regain the lead by using an 11-0 run, that featured a traditional 3-point play from Coleman, that gave Nevada a 32-22 advantage.
The second half scoring was spearheaded by Coleman who rattled off three quick points to extend the Nevada lead to 35-27. Drake kept its deficit at seven before the Pack used a 4-0 spurt to give itself a 12 point lead, 51-39, with the exclamation point coming on a swat from Oliver and a coast-to-coast finish on the other end from Criswell.
With its lead cut to eight, 71-63, with 5:14 to play, Coleman scored three unanswered baskets that put the Wolf Pack up by 14 and forced a Drake timeout. The Bulldogs missed their next four shots, including three 3-pointers. Drake (4-6) closed on an 8-2 run over the final 1:50 but it wasn't enough.
Nevada will conclude its three-game homestand with a 7 p.m. contest on Friday, Dec. 18, when the Pack takes on Santa Clara.
Nevada Press Release