ROQUEBRUNE, France – All seven players scored as the Wolf Pack men’s basketball team won its second game on its European Tour, turning in a 113-83 victory over the Nice All-Stars on Wednesday in front of small but loud and enthusiastic crowd.
Senior-to-be Brandon Fields led the team with 32 points, hitting eight three-pointers, while sophomore-to-be Armon Johnson added 23 and sophomore-to-be Luke Babbitt had 21. Sophomore-to-be Dario Hunt turned in a double-double with 14 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, and Babbitt pulled down seven boards and senior-to-be Joey Shaw had 17 points and five rebounds.
Nevada took a 68-33 halftime lead and was up 92-57 after three quarters thanks to accurate shooting. The Wolf Pack made 13 three-pointers in the game, including eight from Fields and two apiece from Shaw and Babbitt.
“After two games, I’ve been really pleased with the way we are sharing the ball and our unselfishness,” head coach David Carter said. “They’re playing together, and we’ve had only 24 total turnovers unofficially in the two games. We want to play faster, but we’re taking care of the ball.”
Fields credited his success to his focus and assists from his teammates. He also said the team is definitely benefitting from spending so much time together.
“It was just concentrating more. At the beginning, I was really trying to get my teammates involved,” he said. “When I started doing that, the ball started coming to me.
“Our team is getting a lot closer, and everybody is really bonding. We have more understanding of how we are trying to play, and there is no selfishness on this team. Everyone is looking for everyone else, and I think everyone had at least one assist tonight.”
Nevada played in the Gymnase Valgelatta in Roquebrune, France, which located about 45 minutes from Nice and just one town away from the Italian border. The basketball court was one level down in the building with a soccer field above it. The gym was small but packed with fans who cheered for both teams.
“It was really fun. The fans were great,” Shaw said. “They were cheering for their team and for us when we made a basket. They enjoyed the game and that made it more fun for us.”
After the game, the Wolf Pack signed autographs and posed for photos with some of the fans and enjoyed some sandwiches and cake courtesy of the Nice All-Stars.
The game wrapped up one and a half days on the French Riviera for the Wolf Pack. Nevada arrived in Nice after a nine-hour bus ride from Barcelona and enjoyed the beaches and a hotel right across from the Mediterranean Ocean. The team also took a bus ride to Monaco and enjoyed a quick walk through one of the smallest countries in the world. The Wolf Pack especially enjoyed posing for pictures in front of the ocean and watching the changing of the guard at the palace in Monaco.
“The guys are really enjoying themselves. I think they are having more fun than they anticipated,” Carter said of his team. “It was a long trip, but once they got here, they are really appreciating the culture in both Spain and France.”
Nevada leads France on Thursday morning and will drive 260 miles to Florence, Italy with a stop in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the way. The Wolf Pack will play a game in Livorno against Libertas Basket, an Italian professional team, on Thursday night. On Friday, Nevada will also enjoy a walking tour of Florence and play another game on Friday night, taking on Pistoia Basket, before heading to Rome for three days of sightseeing and its final game on Sunday against Anagni Basket.