In front of a loud Lawlor crowd, the Nevada Wolf Pack (6-2) took down the Pacific Tigers (2-3) 77-67 Tuesday night.
The win marked head coach Eric Mussleman’s 30th at Nevada and 20th in Lawlor. For the fourth straight game, senior Marcus Marshall led the Wolf Pack in the points column with 17, tying with sophomore Cameron Oliver. Oliver tallied a total of five blocks on the night, allowing him to push past JaVale McGee for fifth in Nevada history in career blocks, now at 125. Senior D.J. Fenner came off the bench to score 11 points, his second straight game with more than 10. Sophomore Jordan Caroline tallied up 10 rebounds, coming just one point short of his fourth double-double of the season.
“We’re a team that if you play us after we lose, we’re going to come with that chip on our shoulder,” Oliver said. “We’re going to win the next game.”
The game started with neither team able to get the ball to go down. At the first media timeout, Nevada led just 7-2 with 14:34 to play, while Pacific was shooting a percentage in the single digits. While the two teams continued struggling to score, Pacific took its first lead of the game with 10:06 on the clock via the jumper from D.J. Ursery.
Not to be deterred, junior Leland King II and sophomore Lindsey Drew drained back-to-back three-pointers to keep Nevada up top with a 14-12 lead at 7:37. Nevada would go in to the locker room up 31-26, which was the Pack’s first lead at the half since playing Oregon State and just the third total all season.
Nevada continued to extend its lead out of the half, partially due to great defense. Part of that was Oliver who swatted his third ball of the night. The block marked career block 123, moving him past JaVale McGee for fifth all-time in Nevada history. While the Tigers weren’t going down easy, Nevada kept them at arm’s length with a 39-34 lead at 15:39 on the clock.
With 14:27 on the clock, Pacific took another lead that would kick off a series of ties and lead changes. After a total of seven lead changes and five ties, Nevada reclaimed a lead that got Lawlor on its feet. With Oliver and Fenner hitting back-to-back shots from three, the Pack went up 55-50 with 8:50 to go. The Pack kept the foot on the gas and didn’t look back, taking down the Tigers 77-67 to stay undefeated at home.
Nevada will travel to Bradley to take on the Braves Saturday at 5 p.m. PT as part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.