Nevada basketball upsets Boise State in two-game series

Nevada basketball swept the Boise State Broncos in what was undoubtedly its best two games of the season so far. The Wolf Pack have shown great improvement on transition defense and passing IQ as was shown in both games with some beautiful plays and lots of turnovers for the Broncos. While Boise State was a mighty contender for Nevada, it was shut down at nearly every corner, particularly in game two.

A large part of Nevada head coach Steve Alford’s strategy for Boise State was going more to the inside on offense which greatly impacted Boise’s performance on defense. Wolf Pack sophomore forward K.J. Hymes was eating up the Broncos inside defenders with 17 points alone. Another major factor in game one was that Nevada was not giving up much for free on defense especially in the second half. While there were of course a couple of errors with passing and defense, Nevada was overall extremely diligent and quick with slides and getting back on transition defense in the fast break.

A few Wolf Pack players stand out as major factors in Nevada’s success, even breaking some of their own season records. Nevada sophomore guard Grant Sherfield put up 20 points and a season-high 14 assists, junior guard Desmond Cambridge had 21 points and Hymes with 17 points. Notable players from Boise State in game one include senior guard Derrick Alston (23 PTs, 4 TOs), senior forward Abu Kigab (15 PTs) and junior guard Emmanuel Akot (19 PTs). The final score of game one was 74-72, Nevada.

Game two was a little more dominant for Nevada basketball on offense and especially defense. The Wolf Pack forced 16 turnovers, many of which came from intercepted passes. This is because Nevada shut off passing lanes for Boise State, forcing the Broncos to make bad shots under high pressure. While Boise State was still seemingly playing good defense and trying to cut off the pass to the middle, Nevada seemed to always have an answer. Again, a major strategy was to go to the inside to sophomore forwards Hymes and Warren Washington where Washington was able to take his turn and capitalize in game two with 10 points and 10 rebounds. While Nevada played well as a unit, there were again some key players that made the biggest impact.

Sherfield led all scorers with 29 points, eight assists and three turnovers. Sherfield is followed by Cambridge, who held 17 points and five rebounds as well as Washington, again with 10 points and rebounds. More notable Boise State players include Alston (17 PTs, 3 TOs), junior forward Mladen Armus (12 PTs, 8 REBs) and Akot (13 PTs, 5 REBs). The final score of game two was 73-62, Nevada.

While Nevada hoops just played its best two games of the season, there will be little time to celebrate. The Wolf Pack will be traveling to San Jose, California to challenge the San Jose State Spartans this weekend. Game one will be broadcasted via ESPN Radio 94.5 FM on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. ET. Game two will be on Stadium Sports Network and ESPN Radio 94.5 FM on Monday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. ET.

Photo courtesy of