Nevada basketball takes weekend series against Fresno State by storm

After losing to San Diego State last weekend, Nevada basketball came back strong at home, securing two wins against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Lawlor Events Center. Nevada had strong performances this weekend both on offense and defense, shutting down Fresno State’s offense and causing unforced errors. This weekend also gave a couple other young Nevada players such as sophomore forward Warren Washington and freshman forward Tré Coleman the opportunity to come out of their shells a little more.

The story of game one was that Nevada was simply outplaying the Bulldogs for most of the game with more rebounds, assists and overall better movement and rotation. Albeit there were a few times where Nevada got lost on defense allowing for a middle alley for an easy dunk and bad pass selection on offense that cost a couple points. However, Nevada has shown significant improvement on defense in the last couple of series’ and is growing chemistry as the season goes on.

In Friday’s game Nevada basketball had 37 rebounds, 16 assists and forced 14 turnovers. Nevada’s sophomore guard Grant Sherfield led all scorers with 23 points, also forcing five turnovers. Junior guard Desmond Cambridge secured eight rebounds, five assists and 13 points overall. And lastly for Nevada, Washington had seven rebounds and 13 points. Notable performances in game one from Fresno State include sophomore forward Orlando Robinson with six rebounds and 15 points followed by sophomore guard Isaiah Hill with 15 points as well. The final score of game one was 73-57, Nevada.

A lot of success for Nevada in game two came from forcing turnovers on defense resulting in 24 points scored on turnovers. Although the first half was a little more back and forth between the two teams, Nevada still was able to hold a lead for most of the game, allowing Fresno State very little time to set itself up on offense and creating unforced errors like bad passes and poor shot selection. As mentioned, Nevada has been looking much better on defense and is getting more comfortable moving in a zone.

Again, Sherfield led all scorers with 27 points and eight assists. Sherfield was followed by Cambridge with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four turnovers. And lastly, Coleman with 11 points and four rebounds. Fresno State’s Robinson scored 15 points with eight rebounds. Both Deon Stroud and Hill had 13 points and Junior Ballard scored 12.

While Fresno State may not be as much of a challenge for Nevada as San Diego State was, it was easy to see that Nevada was playing better this week. Nevada’s defense is looking better and better with each appearance and as the younger players build more chemistry with time, they will only continue to improve as a team.

This week Nevada will travel to Laramie, Wyoming to play the Wyoming Cowboys in another two-game series. The games are scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. ET. You can catch them on TV on the CBS Sports Network and ESPN Radio 94.5 FM.

Photo by Nick Coppo | The Daily Aztec