NCAA Tournament: Wolf Pack Eliminated By The Florida Gators 70-61
The Wolf Pack tried to comeback from 18 points down but their rally fell short as Nevada were eliminated by the Florida Gators 70-61.
Nevada’s Season Is Over As They Fall To The Gators 70-61
The Nevada Wolf Pack season ended in disappointing fashion as they fell to the #10 seed Florida Gators 70-61 on Thursday night.
The Wolf Pack were down double digits and looked to make another miraculous comeback in the NCAA tournament but that comeback fell short. Nevada’s season ends with a 29-5 record but despite another great season, a first round exit in the tournament to a Florida team that struggled with consistency all season puts a serious damper on the Wolf Pack’s success in the 2018-19 season.
For Nevada, the offense could not get it going as they struggled against a Florida team that played stellar defense all year and played stellar defense against the Wolf Pack. The Gators limited Nevada to just 34 percent shooting from the field and only 20 percent from the three point line. Nevada, a team that averages around 80 points per game this season, only scored 61 points against Florida.
The game was close at first but with the score at 14-13 early in the first half, Florida went on a 9-0 run to take a 22-14 lead that the Gators never relinquished. Nevada did go on a 9-2 scoring run to cut Florida’s lead to 24-23. But Florida went on a 9-3 run at the end of the first half to take a 37-28 lead at the end of the first half.
In the second, the Gators went on a 12-0 scoring run to extend their lead to an 18 point lead at 51-33. Nevada then stormed back with the help of Caleb and Cody Martin to cut the Gator lead to 61-59 late in the second half.
After Caleb Martin made a pair of free throws to cut the Florida lead to 63-61, Gator point guard Andrew Nembhard scored on a tough layup to extend the Florida lead to 65-61 and that was as close as Nevada got as the Wolf Pack ran out of gas in the end.
For the Wolf Pack, the Martin twins had a big night as Cody Martin scored 23 points and grabbed five rebounds while Caleb Martin had 19 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Caroline only scored seven points but did get ten rebounds as Nevada failed to establish Caroline in the paint against Florida this evening. Tre’Shawn Thurman checked in with seven points and eight rebounds.
The Gators had four players score in double figures tonight as center Kevarrius Hayes scored 16 points while Jalen Hudson scored 15 points and Keyontae Johnson and KeVaughn Allen checked in with ten points each.
Nevada’s 2018-19 season comes to a close with this loss to Florida on Thursday. The Wolf Pack were ranked in the top 20 for all season, won 29 games and a share of a third straight regular season Mountain West championship. But a quick exit in this year’s NCAA tournament does give Nevada’s season an strong hint of disappointment of what could have been.
Nevertheless, it was a successful season in Reno for the Nevada Wolf Pack despite the bad ending. Now with the Wolf Pack losing all five of their starters from this year’s team, question is can the Wolf Pack continue to compete in the Mountain West conference. We shall see what the future hold for Nevada in the coming months.