The Energy And Defense Of Utah State Was Too Much As The Wolf Pack Fall On the Road To The Aggies 81-76
The Nevada Wolf Pack put up a good effort but the Aggies were too much as they fall to Utah State and now are a half game back of the Aggies in the conference standings.
Wolf Pack Fall To Aggies, Drop To Second Place in Mountain West Standings
Nevada gave it their all but in the end, the Aggies used a suffocating defense and the power of the home crowd at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to defeat the Wolf Pack 81-76 on Saturday night in Logan, Utah in front of 10, 387 fans.
The Wolf Pack’s third loss of the season was a costly one as they now drop to second place in the Mountain West conference standings where they are a half game back of Utah State. The chance of Nevada winning the outright Mountain West regular season title went up in smoke with this loss tonight.
This was a contest that was a fight from the beginning and in the end, the Aggies were the better team as they limited the Wolf Pack to 36 percent shooting from the field and just 26 percent shooting from the three point line. In a game that was very physical and had a lot of fouls called, the Wolf Pack had their chance to even the odds on the free throw stripe but Nevada missed 12 free throws tonight that could have been the difference.
Despite the Aggies stellar defense and excellent performances by Aggie stars Sam Merrill (29 points) and Neemias Queta (13 points and 11 rebounds) the Wolf Pack had a chance to get win the game. Down 13 points in the second half, the Wolf Pack rallied to cut the two points when they were only down 65-63.
But, the Wolf Pack rally was cut short when at the four minute mark in the second half, Aggie guard Diogo Brito made a jumper to extend the Aggie lead to four at 67-63. The Wolf Pack were able to cut the Aggie lead to three late in the game but that was as close as they were going to get as Utah State secured the victory over Nevada.
For the Wolf Pack, Caleb Martin lead the team with 23 points tonight and he also grabbed nine rebounds. Tre’Shawn Thurman had a big night tonight as he scored 21 points and ten rebounds for the Wolf Pack. Thurman’s great play was the reason why Nevada was able to keep it close against Utah State tonight.
Thurman’s stellar play was much needed as Jordan Caroline struggled tonight as he only scored seven points and seven rebounds tonight while fighting an illness. Elsewhere Cody Martin chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds.
Along with big games from Merrill and Queta, Diogo Brito came off the bench for Utah State and contributed with 15 points and eight rebounds in the winning effort. Utah State’s win tonight I believe should put them in the NCAA tournament but we shall see as Selection Sunday is only two weeks away.
The Wolf Pack’s hopes of winning a third straight outright regular season Mountain West title is gone but they must regroup quickly as they still have a chance to win at least a share of the Mountain West regular season championship.
They need to beat Air Force on Tuesday and San Diego State next Saturday night for that to happen. Time will tell if the Wolf Pack can regroup and achieve this goal.