Nevada cruises to 78-66 victory Over Norfolk State

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 9:01 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (Nevada Athletics) - Will Baker scored a season-high 23 points on a perfect 9-9 shooting from the field, Jarod Lucas poured in 17 of his own, and Kenan Blackshear chipped in 12 points on 5-9 shooting, as the University of Nevada Men’s Basketball team remained undefeated at home and earned their 10th victory of the season over Norfolk State Wednesday.

The Pack controlled the game from start to finish, never trailing in the contest and leading by as many as 24, as they earned the 78-66 victory over the Spartans.

Nevada completes non-conference play with an impressive record of 10-3, marking the highest winning percentage (76.9%) and most victories during the non-conference portion of the schedule under Head Coach Steve Alford’s leadership.

The win was a complete team performance, as eight different players scored at least two points, including six different players scoring six points or more.

Baker led the way for the Pack, as the redshirt-junior dominated the paint offensively throughout the contest. Baker scored at will in the paint, recording a season-high 23 points while not missing a shot all night. Baker also managed to pull down a season-high eight rebounds, and the big man finished the contest with two assists and zero turnovers.

Lucas extended his streak of eclipsing double figures in scoring to 11 consecutive games, as the senior guard scored 17 points while knocking down four 3-pointers. Lucas has now reached double figures in scoring in 12 of 13 contests this season and has made at least three 3-pointers in seven games.

Blackshear maintained his recent sensational play, scoring 12 points on an efficient 5-9 shooting from the field, in addition to dishing out four assists and grabbing three rebounds. Blackshear finished the contest with a game-high plus/minus of +25 in 32 minutes of action.

Tre Coleman had another impactful outing for the Pack, tallying a career-high eight assists in the game while also recording a game-high three steals, as the junior forward continues to be a force on the defensive end of the floor.

Freshman Darrion Williams once again led Nevada in rebounding, pulling down a game-high 11 boards in the contest to go along with seven points, two assists, and one steal. Williams has now reached double figures in rebounding in five contests this season.

Fellow freshmen Nick Davidson and Trey Pettigrew had solid outings for the Pack, providing great intensity off the bench. Davidson scored nine points on just four shots, and Pettigrew scored six while knocking down two 3-pointers.

First Half

Nevada started off strong, as Jarod Lucas began the contest on a personal 8-0 run during the first two and a half minutes of action, knocking down two free throws on the Pack’s first possession of the game, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from the senior.

Norfolk State quickly cut the deficit to five; however, Will Baker then scored seven consecutive points for Nevada, giving the Pack a 17-5 lead with just under 14 minutes to go in the first half.

The Spartans battled back, trimming Nevada’s lead to seven at the 6:59 mark; but, Trey Pettigrew drilled a 3-pointer to push the lead to 10 before finding Baker for a layup and then hitting a second 3-pointer, giving Nevada a 32-17 advantage with 5:01 to go in the half.

Nevada continued to maintain control of the game over the final five minutes of the first half, as they took a 39-23 lead into halftime.

Second Half

After trading buckets over the first three minutes of the second half, Tre Coleman found an open Darrion Williams, who drained a shot from behind the arc and gave the Pack a 17-point lead.

Just over a minute later, Coleman recorded a steal and found Baker in transition, who threw down a massive dunk to push Nevada’s lead up to 19 with 15:24 to go.

The Spartans scored a bucket on their next possession, but Lucas responded by drilling his fourth 3-pointer of the night, giving Nevada a 53-33 lead.

The Pack continued to pour it on, extending their lead to 24 points with 10:28 to go after a Nick Davidson layup.

The Spartans attempted to get back in the contest, but Nevada answered each time, as they went on to earn the 12-point victory and improve to 10-3 on the season.

Notable Stats:

  • Nevada held the lead for 39 minutes and 44 seconds throughout the contest.
  • The Pack recorded 21 assists on 26 made field goals.
  • Nevada was +5 in turnover margin.
  • Nevada limited Norfolk State to an abysmal 4-18 shooting from behind the arc (22.2%).
  • The Pack shot 49.1 percent from the field throughout the game.
  • Nevada knocked down 18 of their 22 free throw attempts.
  • Darrion Williams ranked second on the team in plus/minus, as Nevada outscored Norfolk State by 19 points while he was on the court.
  • Will Baker knocked down all four of his free throw attempts, in addition to hitting nine of nine shots from the field.

Up Next

Nevada will return to the court on Wednesday, December 28, as they are set to open conference play at home against Boise State.