Nevada Wolf Pack sets 3-point record in win at Pacific
It was raining 3s at the Spanos Center on Saturday night, Nov. 18, in Stockton.
Nevada knocked down a school-record 17 3-pointers, and Josh Hall scored a career-high 25 points as the Pack improved to 4-0 with a 89-74 win over Pacific before a crowd of 2,123.
Nevada is 4-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 team started the year 7-0 en route to a 29-5 mark and a second-round NCAA appearance.
Nevada drained 15 3-pointers in 30 attempts in its 30-point win over Santa Clara, and followed up with a 17-for-34 effort against the Tigers, who fell to 0-3.
“Offensively, we’re shooting the 3 with great confidence,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said after the contest. “There are still some things we need to work on defensively
“We did a good job passing the ball (17 assists on 27 baskets) and finding people when we were pushing it.”
And Musselman couldn’t say enough about Hall’s shooting, but the outburst didn’t surprise him.
“Josh had a great night,” Musselman said. “He shot like that in Costa Rica, and he shot like that against Dominican. He had been struggling with his shot a little bit.”
Nevada used a 20-6 surge over a span of 5-minutes 16-seconds to wipe out a 16-15 deficit and open up a 41-28 halftime edge, and Hall played a major role with 11 of his game-high total.
Hall started the surge with a lay-up, and after Jahlil Tripp regained the lead for Pacific at 18-17, Nevada scored the next 11 points to open up a 28-18 lead. Caleb Martin (15 points) knocked in a 3-pointer and then twin brother, Cody, followed in a missed shot and was fouled. Cody Martin (13 points) drained the ensuing free throw for a 23-18 lead. Nevada had 11 second-chance points in the first half.
After a Pacific turnover, Cody Martin added two free throws. Following a UOP miss, Hall drained a 3-pointer from the right corner to make it a 10-point game.
Kendall Small and Roberto Gallinat scored for the Tigers to make it 28-24, but Nevada restored order with a trey by Hall, a putback by Cody Martin and two free throws by Darien Williams got the lead to 35-22.
“I got in a good rhythm and kept shooting,” said Hall, who was 7-for-10 total from beyond the arc, including 3-for-4 in the opening half. “Guys were getting me the ball in a good spot, so my timing was really good.
“I’m just kind of feeling my way; when to shoot and when not to shoot. I have confidence. I hadn’t many any 3s, but they were sagging off me so I shot the ball. They seemed more worried about us driving to the basket.”
Nevada was just 6-for-20 on 2-point attempts, but an impressive 8-for-18 from beyond the arc in the opening half.
The Pack also converted nine offensive rebounds into 11 second-chance points, which pleased Musselman. Nevada had a 43-42 edge for the game, and ended up with 22 second-chance points.
“We did a good job of pounding the offensive glass,” Musselman said. “Once we got hot from 3, we didn’t have to do it as much.
The teams played essentially even for the first 8:13 of the second half. At times, Nevada seemed to settle for jump shots instead of trying to penetrate.
Kendall Stephens, who was deadly from beyond the arc in the exhibitions, hadn’t done much since until Saturday. He went 5-for-10 from beyond the arc, including 3-for-5 in the second half. Stephens had a career-best 20.
Jordan Caroline, who had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, drained four free throws to extend Nevada’s lead to 58-41 with 11:27 left. After Tripp scored, Nevada scored 15 of the next 22 to extend its lead to 73-50 with 7:11 left.
Caleb Martin (15 points) hit a 3-pointer, and after a Pacific misfire, Stephens buried a 3 to make it 64-43. Tripp netted two free throws and then Hall knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 67-45. Tripp, who finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, hit a trey to cut the lead to 67-48. Stephens ended the run with two free throws and a four-point play in a span of 45 seconds to get the lead to the aforementioned 23 points.
“You are going to have ups and downs,” Stephens said. “You just have to come into the games ready. I was able to get shots in rhythm. You see Josh shoot like that and it’s contagious.”
And, Nevada hopes that trend continues against Davidson on Tuesday, Nov. 21.