CASTELFIORENTINE, Italy – Luke Babbitt and Dario Hunt each had double-doubles and Armon Johnson narrowly missed a triple-double as the Wolf Pack men’s basketball team defeated AS Pistoia Basket 98-71 Friday night at the Palazzetto dello Sport.
Sophomore-to-be Babbitt led all scorers with 28 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds, while junior-to-be Johnson added 27 points and 10 assists and was just one rebound shy of a triple-double with nine. Senior-to-be Brandon Fields checked in with 18 points and six rebounds, while Hunt, who will be a sophomore next year, added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
It was Nevada’s third game in three days, and with only seven players, the Wolf Pack got off to a slow start but battled through. The team led 49-34 at halftime and 68-51 at the end of the third quarter.
“After three games in three days, it felt like we had lead in our shoes. The first two games were about talent and athleticism, but the third game was more about the will to win, and I was pleased to see we had that,” head coach David Carter said. “We were tired mentally and physically, and it was good to see us come out and fight and compete.”
“It was tiring, but at the same time, we all like to play basketball. That’s what we came here for, so it was fun,” Fields said.
The Wolf Pack also wrapped up its sightseeing in Florence on Friday with a walking tour of the city. The highlight was a trip to the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s sculpture of David.
Nevada will take the day off from basketball on Saturday but hits the road for a 186-mile bus ride from Florence to Rome. The Wolf Pack will tour the Eternal City on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and plays its final game of the trip on Monday night, taking on Anagni Basket.
The seven players on the trip said they are very excited to reach Rome, which is the team’s final European destination.
“This trip keeps getting better every place we go, and I’ve heard Rome was even better than Florence,” Fields said. “I can’t wait for Rome.”
“This trip is amazing. It’s a different experience, but a good one,” Richie Phillips said. “It’s something I will never forget.”
Babbitt 28-14-0, Johnson 27-9-10, Fields 18-6-2, Hunt 12-13-0, Shaw 11-6-4, Carp 2-4-0, Giles 0-2-2