Nevada basketball comes up short vs. Wyoming

After two up and down performances this weekend on the road, Nevada basketball returned home with two losses against the Wyoming Cowboys, setting its record at 10-7 for the season. There were some good moments for Nevada in both games, but the combination of unforced errors (poor shot/pass selection) and some lapses on defense caused for back-to-back losses in Laramie.

Friday’s game (game one) was extremely slow-paced for Nevada with quite a few bad passes, shots and turnovers. While the Cowboys also had quite a few turnovers themselves, they were able to capitalize a bit more, resulting in 17 points scored from turnovers. A strategy that Nevada needs to utilize, which it began to in the second half and in game two, is going to the inside more often to sophomore forwards Warren Washington and K.J. Hymes because the Cowboys were sticking to the Wolf Pack like glue on the outside. Wyoming was also shutting down Nevada’s No. 1 scorer on the outside, Grant Sherfield, the whole game as well which cut off one of the Wolf Pack’s main lifelines on offense.

The key players for Nevada in game one were Washington leading all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds followed by junior guard Desmond Cambridge with 16 points. As for the Cowboys, sophomore guards Kwane Marble II and Kenny Foster put up 15 points each with seven rebounds for Foster. These two were trailed by freshmen guards Xavier DuSell (14 points) and Marcus Williams (13 points, five rebounds, five assists). The final score of game one was 71-64, Wyoming.

While Nevada still lost game two, it was looking much better overall on both sides of the court. Albeit the Wolf Pack had another shaky start with four turnovers in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game due to bad passing, the pace was significantly higher. Nevada played much harder as a team, trying to utilize all tools on offense to get inside and create separation in Wyoming’s defense as well as being much more responsive and proactive with its slides on defense. But with too many missed shots and poor passes the Wolf Pack were not able to outrun these mistakes in the end. A major thing that Nevada players need to work on going forward is their passing in traffic. If they can find a better lane or pass before they run into the slide, that will eliminate many of their turnovers.

In game two, major players for Nevada were Sherfield (26 points, four assists), Cambridge (16 points, five rebounds), Washington (13 points, 12 rebounds) and sophomore guard Kane Milling (10 points). The Cowboys’ main contributors were Williams (28 points), Marble II (13 points, seven rebounds), freshman forward Graham Ike (18 points, six rebounds) and Dusell (13 points). The final score of game two was 93-88, Wyoming.

After experiencing two losses on the road, Nevada basketball will no doubt be ready to get a couple more wins at home against its rivals, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in the coming week. Game one will be on FS1 and ESPN Radio 94.5 FM this Sunday, Jan. 31 at 9:30 p.m. ET and game two will be on CBS Sports Network and ESPN Radio 94.5 FM on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. ET.

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