Another tough test for Nevada
Nevada Appeal Sports Editor
Nevada hopes to snap a two-game losing streak when it visits Colorado State tonight at Moby Arena.
Tip-off is 6 p.m., and fans can listen to 630AM to follow the action.
Nevada, 2-3, is coming off a 63-61 loss to Portland. Despite the setback, Nevada coach Mark Fox saw some postive signs at both ends of the floor.
“We defended pretty well,” Fox said. “We only gave up two field goals in the last 10 minutes. Our defense improved. We didn’t play 40 minutes of defense, and you have to do that.
“We were a little better on offense. Eighteen is still too many turnovers. You can’t do that and only shoot 60 perecent from the free throw line and expect to win, especially on the road.”
Nevada will have its hands full with the Rams, who are 3-3 under Tim Miles, who is in his second year at CSU after a successful career at North Dakota State.
The Rams are getting strong play from guard Marcus Walker (19.2 ppg), forward Andre McFarland (14 ppg) and JC transfer Andy Ogide (16.2).
“Their JC transfer (Ogide) is playing terrific for them,” Fox said. “They are an aggressive and athletic team.”
“He (Ogide) has been really solid,” Miles said. “He’s been our most consistent performer. He needs to be good for us no question about that.”
Walker was hit by a car recently, but has missed just one game, and has been the Rams’ best scorer. He shoots 45 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Wolf Pack received another solid game from freshman sensation Luke Babbitt, who scored a team-high 17 points and pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. Freshman center Dario Hunt, who scored nine points and pulled down seven rebounds, will probably get his second straight start.
“Obviously they are a different team,” Miles said. “You lose a Marcelus Kemp and JaVale McGee you are going to be different. They are trying to figure out who is going to step up. Coach Fox is a smart guy and good coach, and he will figure things out.
“I’ve seen Luke (Babbitt) play a lot of times. He’s a great player. He’s athletic and a tough-nosed player.”
Miles said Ogide or McFarland would match up with Babbitt, who has led Nevada in scoring four of the first five games, including the last three.
Nevada could use another good game from Hunt.
“He played well,” Fox said. “He rebounded well and scored the ball, and made free throws. He played well in practice today.”
Notes: Nevada holds a 5-4 edge in the series against CSU, including last year’s 74-66 victory in Reno … Nevada has won 28 of its last 45 games away from Lawlor Events Center … Nevada is 0-3 when scoring less than 70 points and 2-0 when scoring more than 70 … Nevada has done well on the offensive glass, taking down 13 a game, second in the WAC … After the CSU game, Nevada will play six of its next seven.
NEVADA (2-3) AT COLORADO STATE (3-3)
When: Tonight, 6 p.m.
Where: Moby Arena, Fort Collins, Co.
TV/Radio: The Mtn./ESPN Radio 630AM, pregame at 5:30 p.m.
Coaches: Nevada’s Mark Fox (104-33) is in his 5th season; CSU’s Tim Miles (10-28) is in his 2nd season
Probable starters: NEVADA F Luke Babbitt (15.8, 8.2), Dario Hunt (4.0, 3.8); G Armon Johnson (10.0, 4.8), Malik Cooke (11.4, 6.0), Lyndale Burleson (9.8, 4.0); CSU F Andre McFarland (14, 5.3), Andy Ogide (16.2, 10.0); G Marcus Walker (19.2, 2.8), Harvey Perry (4.6, 4.6), Willis Gardner (4.7, 1.3)
Moody’s pick: Colorado State 66, Nevada 61