RENO—Eight minutes into Monday’s non-conference contest, Nevada found itself in a 15-15 tie with Holy Names.
First-year coach Eric Musselman wasn’t impressed. So he called a 30-second timeout. His guys listened.
Nevada responded with a 37-2 run and ran away with a lopsided 108-57 victory in front of an announced crowd of 4,896 to improve to 5-2 on the season. Holy Names, an NCAA Div. II affiliate, dropped to 1-7.
“It was probably not G-Rated,” Musselman said of the timeout discussion. “We were just searching for energy.”
Freshman Cameron Oliver said Musselman was silent for the first 15-20 seconds of the timeout before busting out the inspirational verbiage.
The 108 points scored were the most scored by a Nevada team since dropping 112 on Houston in 2009.
The Wolf Pack scored 18 points off 15 turnovers in the runaway first half while holding the Hawks to 25 percent from the floor. Conversely, Nevada shot 58 percent in the first 20 minutes. The high percentage shooting was a result of countless close looks. Of the Pack’s 57 first-half points, 36 came in the paint.
The grotesque first-half run started 24-0 until Ryan Herrera banked home a shot from the elbow with 5:20 left in the half, leaving the Hawks down 39-17. A D.J. Fenner fast-break bucket capped the ensuing 13-0 run. Nevada led 57-21 at the break.
The gap ballooned to as much as 51 in the second half, at 83-32 with 10:19 left, before both coaches emptied their benches in the final minutes.
With the outcome of the game certainly at hand, backup big man Lukas Stivrins, standing an inch shy of seven feet tall, went 6-of-7 from deep, including three-straight triples in the final three minutes. He finished with a game-high 21 points.
“I think after I hit my fourth one I was feeling it. I was like ‘I might do a heat check,’” Stivrins said. “It was falling so it worked. I just felt good. It just felt really good seeing every shot go through the net. It really builds your confidence.”
Ten players got on the stat sheet for Nevada, four in double digits. Oliver (8-of-8 shooting) and Tyron Criswell both went for 17 while AJ West contributed 16 to the winning cause.
Marqueze Coleman finished with two points but passed out 11 of Nevada’s 29 assists.
Nevada’s bench outscored Holy Names’ 73-27 (45 in the second half) as the Wolf Pack finished shooting 60 percent from the floor.
With the rout, Nevada avoided its first losing streak of the season after falling 75-66 at California State Fullerton on Saturday.
The opponent gets exponentially more difficult for the Pack on Saturday as it heads to Corvallis, Ore. to play Oregon State.
“When the schedule was finalized, we knew the games at Wichita State (Dec. 22) and the game at Oregon State were going to be two of our most difficult environments to play in, two of the most difficult, talented teams on the road we have to play,” Musselman said. “I think our guys understand that.”