UNLV hands Trent Johnson first loss in home opener while at Nevada
RENO — After Wednesday night’s 82-80 loss to rival UNLV at Lawlor Events Center, Nevada guard Kirk Snyder said he’d never been 1-3 ever, which is what the Wolf Pack is now.
The loss also marked another first for Trent Johnson. Now in his fourth year, Johnson hadn’t lost a home opener with the Wolf Pack until last night. Nevada last loss in a home opener in 1998 when Wyoming came into Lawlor and won 73-69. And, of course, it had to be a rival to stop the streak.
“We get the gym packed full of fans that hate the other team and want you to do well,” said guard Garry Hill-Thomas. “It’s a hard one to swallow.”
UNLV now holds a 48-16 overall record against Nevada, including a 21-12 mark in Reno. The Runnin’ Rebels have won five of the past six meetings, with the Wolf Pack’s only win over the span coming at Lawlor two years ago when they won 80-71.
OKESON NOT OK
Reserve guard Todd Okeson, who came into Wednesday night’s game with a 14.0 ppg average, didn’t score at all against UNLV. Foul trouble had a little to do with that as he finished with three. Still, he took only one shot and had three assists and three turnovers.
TURNOVERS HURTING NEVADA
The Wolf Pack committed 19 turnovers for the game. With no true point guard leading the way, shooting guard Kirk Snyder led the team with six assists and had six turnovers. Terrance Green, the so-called starter at the point, had only two assists and was 5-of-16 from the field.
SPOONHOUR, UNLV OFF TO IMPRESSIVE START
The Running Rebels are off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season. UNLV is 4-0 as it goes into Saturday’s game against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisc. Under Bill Bayno, UNLV went 5-0 to start the 99-00 season. It lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Tulsa that year.
NOT THAT BAD YET
Nevada still has some work to do if it wishes to start the season worse than coach Trent Johnson’s first year in Reno. The Wolf Pack started the 1999-2000 season 1-7 and 1-10 against Division I opponents.
UNLV guard Demetrius Hunter, a Cheyenne High grad who transferred from Georgetown, scored 11 points against Nevada. He went 26-5 during his senior season at Cheyenne and was ranked one of the top 15 players in the West coming out of high school.