Nevada outrebounded San Jose State 50-35, held the Spartans to 2-of-21 from deep and rolled to an 80-55 victory in Wednesday night’s Mountain West opener at Lawlor Events Center.
The Wolf Pack improved to 12-2, 1-0 in front of an announced crowd of 10,098 – the 19th largest crowd since 1999-2000. The Spartans fell to 7-5, 0-1.
Marcus Marshall broke the 20-point barrier for the seventh time this season, finishing with a game-high 25 points on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc.
Leland King, another transfer, recorded his first double-double in a Nevada uniform. He scored 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds.
D.J. Fenner (14 points) and Jordan Caroline (13 points) also reached double figures in the win.
In a scary first-half moment, freshman Josh Hall was taken off the court on a stretcher and was sent to the hospital. He drew contact on a breakaway dunk attempt and appeared to land on his neck.
Nevada never trailed in the win, leading by as much as 26.
Winners in 12 of their first 14, many are starting to speculate about the Pack’s NCAA Tournament chances. Coach Eric Musselman’s squad has done a good job of avoiding the “bad loss” early in the season, but still the conference won’t be more than a two-bid conference. At best.
There is an outside chance Nevada could receive an at-large bid if it runs through the regular season without winning the Mountain West Tournament.
That run starts Saturday with the first of a telling four-game stretch.
Nevada goes to Fresno State (8-5, 0-1) on Saturday, followed by a home contest with San Diego State (8-4, 0-0), then road meetings at New Mexico (8-5, 1-0) and Wyoming (11-3, 1-0).