Nevada pulls away in second half to beat New Mexico

Nevada pulls away in second half to beat New Mexico

Nevada pulls away in second half to beat New Mexico

RENO —  Nevada rode a big second-half surge to a Mountain West-opening 79-70 victory over New Mexico Saturday night at Lawlor Events Center.

The Wolf Pack (7-5, 1-0 MW) got double-doubles from three players Saturday. 

Bigs Will Baker and Warren Washington each finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while point guard Grant Sherfield dished out 10 assists to go with 10 points.

Desmond Cambridge Jr. scored 18 points to lead Nevada, which won the second half, 44-34, behind 12 from the Nashville native over the final 20 minutes.

Sophomore Tré Coleman matched his career high with 13 points, with his 3-pointer with 7:45 left in the first half helping wake up the Wolf Pack offense and get Nevada out of an early 24-17 hole. That helped spur the Pack to close the half outscoring the Lobos (7-7, 0-1 MW), 18-12, to go into the break down just one.

Much of the second half would be all Wolf Pack. Kenan Blackshear’s three-point play early on put the Wolf Pack in front for good, 40-39, and Sherfield hit a triple to start a five-point run that helped get the lead to seven at 50-43 with 12 minutes to go.

New Mexico, behind 18 points from Jaelen House and 17 from Jamal Mashburn Jr., cut the lead to four at 52-48, but Coleman helped slam that door shut with four-straight points, followed by a Cambridge Jr. 3-pointer to up the lead to 11. 

Another steal and fast-break dunk from Cambridge Jr. extended the run to 11-0, and the Pack was firmly in control at 63-48 with seven minutes remaining.

The lead got to 19 at 69-50 before New Mexico began letting it fly from deep, cutting the deficit all the way down to five, at 75-70, with 36 seconds to go. 

But free throws from Cambridge Jr. and Sherfield, along with key defensive stops, sealed the win for the Wolf Pack.