No. 8 Nevada Flexes Muscles, Crushes UNLV 87-70
Nevada crushes the Wolf Pack at the Thomas & Mack on Tuesday night
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It was a beatdown between in-state rivals
Caleb Martin led No. 8 Nevada with 26 points and six rebounds and the Wolf Pack dominated UNLV 87-70 at the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday night.
It looked like things might be getting out of hand early on, and it’s exactly what ensued.
The now 20-1 Wolf Pack led wire-to-wire, starting with an empathic Trey Porter jam for the night’s opening points to Caleb Martin’s three-pointer with 28 seconds remaining. Eric Musselman’s group again showed why there’s no doubt that it runs the Mountain West.
With first place on the line in the conference, Nevada showed off both its power and finesse throughout the night, dominating the home Rebels and quieting the biggest crowd of the Marvin Menzies era in Vegas (15,786).
The Wolf Pack was stellar defensively, and it led to a number of transition and quick buckets on the other end. From the opening tip, UNLV looked hesitant on offense and was unable to pick up and rhythm or flow on the offensive side of the court. The conference leaders forced UNLV to go just 36.8 percent from the field including 7-26 from deep and turned the ball over 14 times.
Nevada’s offense showed up as well. Its perimeter shots were falling (9-22), it got to the line and converted (28-32), and it won the turnover battle. Jordan Caroline (18 points), Jazz Johnson (11 points), and Cody Martin (10 points) also finished in double figures for the defending MWC champs.
Next up for Nevada (20-1, 7-1) is a home matchup against Boise State on Saturday. UNLV (11-9, 5-3) is back on the road as it takes on Utah State on Saturday as well.
Eli Boettger is the lead basketball writer at Mountain West Wire. He’s covered Mountain West basketball since 2015 and his work has been featured on Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, SB Nation, Yahoo Sports, MSN, and other platforms. Boettger is a current USBWA member.