Nevada in for tough test at USD |

Nevada in for tough test at USD

Darrell Moody

Nevada’s inexperienced basketball team gets its first true test of the young season when it faces the University of San Diego.

Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. (Channel 27/ESPN Radio 630 AM) at Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Nevada enters the contest with a 1-0 record after a nine-point win at Montana State, while San Diego is 0-1 after a narrow loss at UNLV.

The Wolf Pack faces a team that returns its entire starting five from last year’s NCAA team that went 22-14.

The Toreros will be a bit short-handed because Clinton Houston and Trumaine Johnson are serving suspensions for breaking team rules. The good news for USD is that center Gyno Pomare, who went for 22 last year in Reno, is scheduled to come off a suspension tonight, according to USD spokesman Ted Gosen. De’Jon Jackson has a knee injury, but is expected to play.

“They are a darn good team,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said. “They have good guard play and good bigs.

“He’s (Pomare) a load. He wore us out last year. We didn’t defend well. It will be a huge challenge for our inside players. We’ll have to do it by committee.”

Roberto Mafra, a JC transfer, scored 18 in his debut while Rob Jones, who was hampered by early foul woes in last year’s game, added 14.

Fox hopes to see improved shooting tonight. Against Montana State, Nevada shot a paltry 34 percent, which usually isn’t enough to win many games. Fortunately, Montana State shot only 32 percent, as Nevada played solid perimeter defense.

“I didn’t think our shot selection was particularly good,” Fox said. “We’re still in the infant stages of our offense. We’re learning how to play together. They (Montana State) played pretty good defense.

“The first half we defended the 3-point line pretty well. We didn’t do well after building a large lead. We didn’t sustain it (offensively and defensively). It’s part of being a young team. We got up 18 and lost our concentration.”

NOTES: Nevada got some good news, as Channel 2 reported that petty larceny charges against Ahyaro Phillips have been dropped. Fox said that Phillips, London Giles and Brandon Fields are still suspended … Nevada returns home for two games – Saturday against Oregon State and next Wednesday against UOP.