The Nevada Wolf Pack (13-3, 2-1 MW) lit up Lawlor Events Center Wednesday night with a series of dunks, big threes and tough defense to take down the San Diego State Aztecs (8-6, 0-2 MW) 72-69.
It was the first time since the Wolf Pack beat SDSU in 1999 that Nevada came out on top of the matchup, and the victory was fueled by sophomores Jordan Caroline and Cameron Oliver who both put up double-doubles. Caroline ended the night with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Oliver put up 17 points with 11 boards of his own. Also eclipsing 10 points were seniors D.J. Fenner with 17 and Marcus Marshall with 12. It was the 12th time this year the Wolf Pack saw at least four players score in double figures. Sophomore Lindsey Drew tied his career high with four blocks while freshman Devearl Ramsey set a career high with five rebounds in his 18 minutes.
The Wolf Pack started the game off hot from beyond the arc, taking an early 9-4 lead with three long balls. As both teams’ defenses played strong ball, the Aztecs began to creep in on the Nevada lead, tying it up at 14 with just under ten minutes to play. The back and forth would begin. As time ticked down, it was Nevada who came out on top of a crazy first half, up 35-31.
The second staff started all Wolf Pack, taking a 42-34 lead with 16:42 to play behind strong scoring from Oliver and Caroline. Nevada kept the lead the entire second half, and, although SDSU would threaten, keep the Aztecs at arm’s length. Things tightened up when SDSU’s ylan Cheatham found an open lane and brought the Aztecs within four with 1:09 on the clock. Marshall found an open shot with 39 seconds to go to put the Pack up 68-61. Jeremy Hemsley answered right back with a three of his own to cut the SDSU deficit back to four. It was Hemsley again that would lay it up to bring it within two with just 21 seconds to go. Fenner would get gouled and take the line, hitting both shots to secure the Wolf Pack victory. With a final score of 72-69, Nevada beat the Aztecs for the first time since 1999 and the first time since joining the Mountain West.
The Pack will hit the road for another nationally televised game on ESPN when they take on New Mexico at 8:15 p.m. PT.