Pack Notebook: Nevada beefs up against Koby
RENO – Utah State freshman Koby McEwen blitzed Nevada for 26 points in the initial meeting between the teams on Feb. 1.
Saturday, before a paid crowd of 10,336 at Lawlor Events Center, the talented guard was a non-factor, finishing with five points on 1-for-8 shooting and two free throws as Nevada rolled to a 77-66 win.
McEwen’s only basket, a 3-pointer, came in the final minute of the contest.
“It was really important,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman. “We have great respect for the season he’s had. Our 4s did a good job shadowing (trapping) at half court.
“All our guards did a good job. Josh’s (Hall) length I think that bothered him (McEwen). Lindsey Drew is long and that gave him problems. Both did a really good job keeping in front of him.”
McEwen was also hampered by foul problems, playing just 23 minutes compared to 33 in the first meeting. He got up four less shots Saturday, and part of that was defense and part of it was the foul trouble.
Musselman said keeping McEwen and Shane Rector out of the lane was key, and if McEwen did break free Nevada would collapse in the middle.
“I like the way we’ve come out defensively and on the glass,” Musselman said. “We did a phenomenal job protecting the paint. That was a big emphasis. We did a great job collectively rebounding the basketball.”
Nevada won 45-29 on the boards against USU, including a season-high 20 offensive rebounds.
For the second time this year, Nevada and Boise State will play for a share of the conference lead.
The Pack knocked off the Broncos, 76-57, back on Jan. 25 at Taco Bell Arena. It came after a five-point home loss against Fresno State.
“They are a well coached team, and they have more players who can make plays,” senior guard D.J. Fenner said. “They have Chandler Hutchison, and we have to be able to stop him.”
FENNER MOVES UP
Fenner moved past Kevin Soares and Brandon Fields into 15th place on the Pack’s all-time scoring list.
Fenner, who scored 18, now has 1,272 points. Fenner has scored at least 10 points in five straight games and nine of the last 10.
DREW ON THE GLASS
Sophomore Lindsey Drew didn’t start for the second straight game.
He played 29 minutes and had 10 rebounds, five offensive, four assists, two points and three turnovers. It’s the second time Drew has reached double figures in rebounding.
Cam Oliver tied his season high with five blocks. It’s the fifth time he has reached that mark.
Oliver has had three or more blocks 37 times in his one-plus years in a Nevada uniform.