Nevada Wolf Pack starts slow but heats up to beat Wyoming
Nov. 24: Nevada 67, Hawaii 54
Dec. 2: Nevada 76, UC Irvine 65
Jan. 6 — 11 a.m. at Air Force
Jan. 13 — vs. Utah State
Jan. 17 — 7:30 p.m. at San Jose State
Jan. 20 — 7 p.m. vs. Boise State
Jan. 24 — 8 p.m. at Wyoming
Jan. 31 — 8 p.m. vs. Fresno State
Feb. 3 — 5 p.m. at Colorado State
Feb. 7 — 8 p.m. vs. UNLV
Feb. 10 — 5 p.m. vs. San Diego State
Feb. 14 — 8 p.m. at Boise State
Feb. 17 — 3 p.m. at Utah State
Feb. 21 — 7 p.m. vs. San Jose State
Feb. 25 — 1 p.m. vs. Colorado State
Feb. 28 — 8 p.m. at UNLV
Mar. 3 — 7 p.m. at San Diego State
RENO — Cody Martin delivered his second double-double of the season, and it came at an opportune time.
Martin, who finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, drained two big 3-pointers in a 40-second span late in the game to spark Nevada to a 92-83 win over Wyoming before a crowd of 9,188 at Lawlor Events Center on Wednesday.
The win moved Nevada to 3-0 in conference play for just the second time. The 2013-14 team started 4-0. Nevada is now 14-3 entering Saturday’s game at Air Force.
“We’ve got to play better, but at the end of the day, a win is a win,” Cody Martin said. “It shows we have stuff to work on. We have to find a way to get better everyday.”
Nevada was in danger of seeing its 12-game home winning streak come to an end. Martin wasn’t going to let that happen.
Wyoming had cut a 10-point lead down to four, 77-73, with 4:31 left when Martin delivered the first of his two daggers.
Caleb Martin missed a 3-pointer, but Jordan Caroline, who scored 18 points and pulled down a career-best 16 rebounds, rebounded the ball. Kendall Stephens passed to Cody Martin, who banked in a 3-pointer with 3:18 left.
Justin James (30 points) drove the lane for a basket to make it 80-75 with 3:06 left. Cody Martin knocked in another trey to make it an eight-point game with 2:38 left.
The Cowboys did close to 83-77 on a dunk by Alan Herndon (12 points), but a 3 by Stephens and two free throws by Cody Martin gave the Pack an 11-point lead with 47 seconds left.
“Honestly it (shot clock) was around like 4,” Cody Martin said when asked about his first 3-pointer. “Kendall had it, and I backed up thinking he was going to shoot it and then he throws it to me. I threw it up just hoping to hit the rim and get an offensive rebound.
“At that point we were trading baskets. Just trying to get the offensive rebound and it ended up going in. I think it threw them off a little bit because I think they thought they had a stop. It gave the team more confidence.”
And, Cody Martin admitted the first make gave him confidence.
“Sure, I think that’s what I needed,” he said. “I don’t take too many because I know my strengths. It’s not my strong suit. In practice I’m just fine. Get in the game and it’s a mental thing. Teammates know I can make the shot.”
Coach Eric Musselman couldn’t resist a little jab at his junior guard.
“I thought the bank shot was blessed though he might disagree,” Musselman said. “I don’t think he called glass.
“The second one he lined up and knocked it down. He took both with composure.”
It was a strange game to say the least. The teams combined for just 10 total points in the first 3-plus minutes, and then combined for 106 in the second half. The combined 106 points in a half (56-50 Nevada) was the most at Nevada since Musselman took over.
“We talked about moving ball more,” Musselman said. “We made adjustments on spacing and who was cutting.
“I thought we rebounded the ball better in the second half.”
Caroline had 10 of his boards in the final 20 minutes.
“It was a point of emphasis all week,” Caroline said. “We had to rebound to win.”
Cody Martin had 15 of his 22 in the final half, Caleb Martin added 14 of his 19 and Stephens added 11 of his 16.
“I was just trying to break the pace,” Caleb Martin said when asked about his play in the second half. “Our energy was low and we needed a spark.”
The second half more than made up for a lackluster first half.
Baskets were hard to come by. Nevada started 2-for-8 and ended up 40 percent for the half en route to a 36-33 lead.
Stephens was limited to six minutes because of foul issues, and Caleb and Cody Martin were a combined 5-for-16. Musselman said Stephens’ foul trouble was an issue.
So was the 6-10 Herndon, who blocked three shots in the first 20 minutes and five for the game.
“I thought Herndon did a great job blocking shots,” Musselman said.
And, Nevada had no answer for James, who scored 17 of his 30 in the first half. He went 13-for-17 at the line for the game. And, Luis Adams came off the bench for 10 of his 23. Adams’ contribution was key since Hayden Dalton was limited to seven minutes because of foul trouble.
“What James did was on ourselves,” Cody Martin said. “We knew what he was going to do. We have to keep him off the line. We have to stay between him and the basket.”
Musselman said he chose to shut down Dalton, who was coming off a 36-point effort against San Diego State. Dalton, who played just 20 minutes because of foul trouble, finished with 5 points and only got up five shots.