The Nevada Wolf Pack Came Back From A 14 Point Deficit To Defeat The Texas Longhorns In Overtime
The Wolf Pack Were down and struggling but they turned it on in the second half to overcome their deficit and knock off the Longhorns.
Nevada Outlasts Longhorns In Overtime, Will Advance To Play Cincinnati On Sunday.
What a finish, What a game.
The No.7 seeded Nevada Wolf Pack fought their way back from a 14-point deficit against the no.10 seeded Texas Longhorns and needed an additional five minutes to defeat the Longhorns 87-83 in what can be described as one of the best games in the tournament, so far.
This win is Nevada’s first NCAA tournament win since 2007 when the Wolf Pack (also a seventh seed) defeated the Creighton Blue Jays 77-71. Ironically, enough, that game went into overtime as well.
The Wolf Pack had a challenging time in the first half against Texas and not only did Texas big man Mo Bamba (13 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks) play well but the backcourt of Kewin Roach II (26 points, five rebounds) and Matt Coleman (25 points, four assists) did damage on the Wolf Pack as well. The spectacular performance of those three and the poor shooting of Nevada, put the Wolf Pack in a nine-point hole after 20 minutes of play.
In the second half, the Wolf Pack started to turn the corner as they started to pick away at the lead with a better shooting performance in the second half and late in regulation, the Wolf Pack were down 68-65 when Jordan Caroline’s layup cut the lead down to one at 68-67. After a Kendall Stephens (22 points) foul, Roach went to the free throw line but missed the front end of the one and one.
Caroline (14 points, eight rebounds, five assists) then rebounded the ball and took it twice to Mo Bamba in the paint and after Bamba blocked the first Caroline shot, Caroline got the ball back and went up again and this time Bamba was called for his fifth foul which disqualified him from the game and sent Caroline to the free throw line.
Caroline with a chance to take the lead in regulation from the free throw line, went one for two to tie the game at 68-68 and after a Texas turnover, the Wolf Pack had another chance to win in regulation but Caleb Martin’s three fell short.
In overtime early on, the Longhorns reclaimed control of the game as Roach came out on fire hitting a three and completing a four-point play to give the Longhorns a 77-73 lead. But the Wolf Pack rose to the challenge yet again as the Martin twins and Caroline took over the game. First it was a monster dunk by Caroline to cut the Texas lead to 77-75 then Caleb Martin (18 points, ten rebounds, five assists) came thru with a big three-point shot to give the Wolf Pack the lead at 78-77.
From there, the Wolf Pack did not relinquish the lead as another Caleb Martin three extended the Wolf Pack lead for good and despite the Longhorns cutting the lead late in overtime at 85-83, Kendall Stephens iced the game with a pair of made free throws to secure the win and move on into the round of 32.
For Nevada, the scoring was almost balanced from their starting five as four of them scored 14 or more points. The Wolf Pack got a significant contribution from Josh Hall coming off the bench as he scored 15 points in the win.
Nevada is still alive in the NCAA tournament as they will move on to face the No. 2 seeded Cincinnati Bearcats on Sunday. Time and TV netrowk of the game is yet to be determined.