Nevada men’s basketball downs Montana State
Nevada Sports Information
BOZEMAN, Mont. ” Freshman Luke Babbitt scored 20 points and 12 rebounds in his collegiate debut to lead the Nevada Wolf Pack to a 72-63 victory over Montana State in front of 3,826 fans at Worthington Arena on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The Wolf Pack won its season opener for the fifth time in six years and the 13th time in the last 15 years.
Babbitt led three Wolf Pack players in double figures. Sophomore Armon Johnson added 16 points and junior Ray Kraemer scored a career-best 12 with a pair of 3-pointers. Sophomore Malik Cooke had eight rebounds for Nevada, while Johnson and Kraemer each pulled down a career-best seven.
The game stayed close for the first six minutes. Nevada opened things up with a 7-0 run to take a 16-9 lead with 11 minutes, 13 seconds to play in the first half and extended its lead to double digits a few minutes later.
Montana State cut the advantage to three points, 31-28 with 4:02 left in the half, but Nevada closed the period with a 13-0 run, including eight straight points from Kraemer, to take a 44-28 halftime lead.
In the second half, Nevada increased its lead to 18 points in the first five minutes, but Montana State scored 24 of the next 27 points in the game to get within three points, 60-57, with 4:58 to play.
The Wolf Pack, however, made eight of its last 10 free throws down the stretch to hang on for the 72-63 victory.
The Wolf Pack returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to San Diego. The game will be at San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion and will tip off at 7:05 p.m. KAME-TV 21 will televise the game locally, while it can also be heard on ESPN 630 AM.