Nevada Uses Stout Defensive Effort to Down Grand Canyon, 59-46

Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 5:50 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (Wolf Pack Athletics) - Kenan Blackshear had a game-high 20 points, and the University of Nevada Men’s Basketball team displayed a sensational defensive performance, holding Grand Canyon to just 29.1 percentage shooting from the field, as the Wolf Pack went on to earn their second consecutive victory to begin the season.

Nevada had a dominant defensive outing from start to finish, limiting Grand Canyon to just 46 points in the contest, marking the lowest offensive outing from the Antelopes in 16 games.

Blackshear scored the first two baskets of the game, giving the Wolf Pack a 4-0 lead two minutes into the contest.

After GCU scored their first bucket of the game, Jarod Lucas backed down his defender and drilled a step-back jump shot over him to surpass the 1,000-point scoring mark for his career. Nevada was then able to push their lead to 9-4 after Tre Coleman knocked down his first 3-pointer of the season; however, the Antelopes used a quick 8-3 run to even the score at 12 apiece with just over 11 minutes to go in the first half.

After the two squads went back and forth over the next five minutes of play, GCU made consecutive buckets to take their largest lead of the game at 20-16 with just six minutes remaining in the first period.

Fueled by five points from Blackshear over the final six minutes, the Wolf Pack managed to outscore Grand Canyon 8-4 to tie the game at 24 apiece heading into halftime.

Nevada held Grand Canyon to 30.8 percent shooting from the field in the first period and 25 percent from behind the 3-point line.

GCU came out strong to begin the second half, launching the period on an 11-2 run to take a 33-26 lead with just under 15 minutes to go.

Nevada withstood the Antelope run and responded by building an 18-3 run of their own to generate their largest lead of the game at 44-36 with 9:41 remaining. Will Baker knocked down three 3-pointers in less than three minutes during the run, and Trey Pettigrew drilled the first 3-pointer of his college career during the run as well, both of which largely contributed to the Wolf Pack’s change in tempo as they regained control of the game.

Grand Canyon was able to trim the Nevada lead to three; however, that was as close as they would get. Blackshear continued to score at will in the paint in what was a stellar offensive display from the senior point guard, and the Wolf Pack were able cruise their way to a 13-point victory over the preseason Western Athletic Conference favorites.

Notable Stats:

  • Jarod Lucas eclipsed the 1,000-point scoring mark for his career in the contest.
  • Nevada recorded five blocks in the contest.
  • The Wolf Pack held Grand Canyon to just 18.2 percent shooting from 3-point range in the second half.
  • Will Baker was 3-4 from behind the arc in the second period.
  • Kenan Blackshear’s 20 points matched his career-high, and he also contributed a game-high five assists in the contest.
  • Nevada knocked down 16-20 shots from the free-throw line.
  • The Wolf Pack outrebounded GCU 21-17 in the second half.
  • Nevada had three different players tally five rebounds in the game.

Up Next

Nevada will return to the court this Tuesday, as they are set to host William Jessup at the Lawlor Events Center, with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m..