The Wolf Pack bounce back after ugly loss at New Mexico
Two Sportscenter top-10 plays, six threes from Caleb Martin, and a 60 point second half for Nevada (15-1, 2-1) was everything the San Jose State Spartans (3-11, 0-2) couldn’t afford if they were going to compete with the No. 10 team in the nation. After leading by nine at half, Nevada outscored the Spartans by 30 and ran away for a 92-53 victory to stay undefeated at home.
A much-needed performance after Nevada got demolished by New Mexico last Saturday and I’m sure there wasn’t a single person on the planet that didn’t think Nevada would bounce back the way they did.
Eric Musselman said during the post game presser- “My sister wished me good luck and I said, you know, don’t worry Nicole you don’t even have to watch- we’re gonna win. It wasn’t who we were playing, I just knew after a loss how we would respond.”
For the first time in Nevada’s first 16 games, Eric Musselman went with a different starting lineup as Caleb Martin and Tre-Shawn Thurman started on the bench. It was reported after the game the Caleb actually benched himself, saying he wasn’t worthy of starting after the way he has played.
The change in the starting lineup paid off as Nevada got off to the best start they’ve had in a long time. Instead of falling behind early like Nevada has become accustomed to, the Wolf Pack threw the first haymaker and Never looked back. Nevada won the tip, Jordan Caroline hit a three 11 seconds later, and they played all 40 minutes with the lead.
Nevada’s Corey Henson got his first start of the season and was a big part of why they were able to get off to a good start. Henson usually plays limited minutes off the bench and even has a few DNP’s but against San Jose State it was a different story as he logged 32 minutes, the most on the team. He’s a high IQ basketball player and plays tough, unselfish, and doesn’t take bad shots.
Henson finished with 15 points while shooting 55% from the field on 11 attempts and knocked down three shots from deep. He also had seven assists, four steals, and a rebound. Doubtful that Henson is going to average 30 minutes from now on, though he should start getting quite a bit more court time than previously.
Freshman 5-star big man, Jordan Brown, was the other player to get his first start for the Wolf Pack. Brown played a productive 21 minutes while showing his phenomenal interior footwork. He finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out two assists, and had two steals.
Like Henson, expect to see more of Jordan Brown in the future. He’s played a lot of valuable minutes for Nevada this season and has absolutely earned more playing time.
Caleb Martin finished with a game high 23 points after shooting 100% from three in the second half making all six of his attempts. He also added three assists, a rebound, and a ferocious chase down block that ended up at #3 in the Sportscenter top-10.
Twin brother Cody Martin added 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Jordan Caroline was consistent as usual in his scoring with 19 points, finishing just above his season average and also contributing to Sportscenter’s top-10 with an emphatic dunk.
It was obvious that San Jose State’s game plan was to shoot their way into a huge upset by launching threes in the first half and it didn’t pay off. Like Nevada, the Spartan’s have a ton of length in their starting five with three players standing 6’9-6’11 and they weren’t used for a majority of the first 20 minutes.
A better game plan may have been to work the ball inside and try to get Nevada into foul trouble instead of constantly unloading shots from beyond the arc. San Jose State had three starters with eight points, one with seven, and Brae Ivey had a team high 10. Once San Jose State got behind in the first half, everyone knew Nevada was going for the knockout punch and it came by way of a barrage of threes, turning the Spartans over, sharing the basketball with a ton of picture-perfect assists, and running the Spartans to death.
Up next- Both teams play this Saturday as Nevada travels to Fresno State and San Jose State will stay home to face Boise State.