Wolf Pack Notebook: Hall finds his way against Towson
LAS VEGAS — After last week’s win over UC Irvine, Nevada coach Eric Musselman said the Wolf Pack needed more production from freshman Josh Hall.
Apparently the talented freshman got the message.
Playing in front of approximately 20 friends and family, including his dad for the first time as a collegian, Hall scored a career-best 15 points and had four steals in Nevada’s 81-72 win over Towson Wednesday at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic.
Musselman kind of shrugged when asked if he’d talked to Hall. The coach said he felt Hall knew he had to start producing to keep playing.
“I’m proud of the job Josh did,” Musselman said. “He played phenomenal defense with four steals.”
Did Musselman’s comments made last week to the media sink in?
“Absolutely,” Hall said. “I just felt I had to come out aggressive. I wanted to play better defense. I think I should have had more rebounds.”
Hall came out strong, scoring Nevada’s first seven points, and his 13-point first-half jump-started an offense that was missing Marcus Marshall the final 14:56 of the first half, and also played without Lindsey Drew and D.J. Fenner, both of whom picked up two fouls in the opening half.
Hall knows he will have ups and downs as a freshman, and he’s approaching it in a mature way.
“I’m just being positive,” he said. “Obviously it worked.”
FENNER REACHES MILESTONE
Several minutes after the game ended, a loud roar broke out in the tent the Wolf Pack used as a changing room at the South Point Hotel & Casino.
It was for senior D.J. Fenner, who became the 26th player in Nevada history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in his career.
Fenner, who scored 10 points and dished out two assists, passed the milestone with 12:35 left in the first half.
“It’s really neat,” Musselman said. “We announced it, and all the guys jumped on him. It’s a great accomplishment.”
Marcus Marshall, who scored all 17 of his points in the second half, has scored in double figures in each game.
The Pack had five players in double figures for the second straight game and the fourth time this year.
Cameron Oliver and Marshall had 17 each, Hall 15, Fenner 10 and Jordan Caroline 14. Caroline missed a double-double by one rebound.
OFF THE BENCH
Since Elijah Foster was suspended from the team because of off-court issues, Leland King’s playing time has increased.
And, for the most part the Brown transfer has produced.
King scored six of his eight points in the opening 20 minutes, and he also pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists.
“He had two humungous offensive rebounds,” Musselman said. “When we get offensive rebounds, we tell players to kick it out for a 3. We call it a sprayout. He did a good job extending possessions.”
Nevada closes out its nonconference schedule today at 2:30 against UC Santa Barabra, 1-8. The Gauchos lost 73-57 to Iona in the first game of the day.
Santa Barbara has lost three straight since knocking off D-2 Sonoma State, 75-51, on Dec. 1. One of those losses was to UCLA, 102-62, Dec. 14 at Pauley Pavilion.