Nevada Wins MWC Regular Season Championship after Beating CSU
For the first time in five seasons, the Nevada Wolf Pack (25-6, 14-4) earned the regular season title, taking down the Colorado State Rams (21-10, 13-5) 85-72 Saturday night to be crowned the Mountain West regular season champions.
Sophomore Cameron Oliver had a career night, putting up 29 points for a new career high and 17 rebounds, the most on the team this season. Oliver now sits at 999 career points, just one short of becoming the 27th Wolf Pack player to score 1,000. Both senior Marcus Marshall and Jordan Caroline put up 18 points and earned double-doubles. Marshall recorded 10 assists, a team high this year, while Caroline tacked on 15 rebounds. It was the fourth time this season Oliver and Caroline put up double-doubles in the same game and the first of the season for Marcus. It was the first time since Dec. 29, 1990 that three Wolf Pack players recorded a double-double.
Things got off to a slow start for the Wolf Pack as they fell behind 14-8 before Colorado State called a timeout with 13:20 to go. The Pack did all it could to catch the Rams, but could never get a run. Then, in the final five minutes of the half, a switch was flipped. The Wolf Pack began to outpace CSU and went on a 14-8 run in the last five minutes to cut the deficit. Nevada would go into the half down just two, 42-40.
It was Fenner who would snag a rebound, tossing it to Caroline who knotted it up at 44 with his layup. The Rams answered right back, though, taking a two point lead. Oliver, getting a steal on an inbounds pass, got the layup to go down and took the line as he was fouled. Sinking the and-one, the Wolf Pack took its first lead of the game 49-48, with 15:08 to go.
A bit of back and forth began as the Rams tied it up again at 49 with a three from Caroline to break it up again. Fenner found his shot, draining a three to put the Pack up 55-49. Then, surging and finding open court, Oliver slammed not one but two dunks to give Nevada a 62-51 with 10 on the clock. The rest was history as the Wolf Pack kept the Rams at bay en route to the 85-72 win, crowning Nevada the Mountain West regular season champions.