One team will have winning streak snapped Wednesday night | Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball
San Jose State and Nevada both enter tonight’s conference opener at Lawlor Event Center with nice winning streaks.
Nevada, since its two-point loss to Iona at the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 26, has reeled off six straight wins — UOP (77-67), Bradley (91-69), Washington (87-85), UC Irvine (76-69), Towson (81-72) and Santa Barbara (67-66).
The Spartans, meanwhile, have won three straight. They beat Lite Pacific College (109-70), Bowling Green (77-76) and Southern Utah (92-82).
Nevada has two wins over Pac-12 teams (Oregon State and Washington), while San Jose knocked off Washington State on the road earlier this year.
Owning the series
Nevada leads the series, 55-50, dating back to 1911.
The series hasn’t been that close recently, with the Wolf Pack taking 15 of the last 16, and 25 of the last 27 meetings.
The last SJSU win in the series was Feb. 18, 2014, in Reno when Jalen James hit a game-winning basket with 1.8 seconds remaining. SJSU fell to Nevada in the only meeting of last season, 61-55, in The Event Center.
The game brings together two of the best sixth men in the league in Nevada’s D.J. Fenner and SJSU’s James. Fenner is averaging nearly 12 a game, while James averages 9.5.
The Spartans also bring Gary Williams off the bench. Williams is averaging 7.5 a game, including 17 points in the win over Southern Utah.
Besides Fenner, Leland King has played well in spurts in relief roles, and freshman Devearl Ramsey played well defensively against UCSB.
Two things that Nevada and the Spartans have done well this season are score the basketball and rebound. The Spartans and Wolf Pack are top-5 in the Mountain West in scoring offense, made 3-pointers and 3-point field goal percentage… Nevada’s Jordan Caroline and SJSU’s Brandon Clarke square off in the low block for the first time Wednesday. They are 1-2 in offensive rebounding in the Mountain West… Ryan Welage of San Jose State has made nine 3-pointers in his last two games, and that came after multiple games of not attempting a 3-pointer. He scored 22 against Southern Utah, and is averaging 16.6 in his last three games.
Nevada has several players leading the Mountain West in various categories.
Marcus Marshall has seven 20-plus point games, two better than Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison and Wyoming’s Jason McManamen.
Jordan Caroline and Colorado State’s Emmanuel Omogbo are tied with six double-digit rebounding games. Caroline’s best rebounding game is 13 and Omogbo has a 16-rebound game.
Marshall also leads the MW with 49 made 3-pointers and a 20.2 scoring average, Lindsey Drew leads in assists with 5.4 a game and Cameron Oliver leads in blocked shots at 3.1 per game.