Photo credit: @SJSUMBB
By: Ana Kieu
The San Jose State men’s basketball team arrived at Lawlor Events Center to take on the No. 10 Nevada Wolf Pack in a road tilt Wednesday night. Sure, SJSU had hoped to snap a 3-game losing skid, but Nevada stored a tough task for the night ahead.
In an attempt to suppress the hungry Wolf Pack, Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau went with a starting lineup of Brae Ivey, Noah Baumann, Craig LeCesne, Michael Steadman, and Oumar Barry.
The Wolf Pack jumped out to an early 9-2 lead at the first media timeout at the 15:45 mark of the first half. Nevada Basketball had some fun on Twitter as they asked: “So, it’s already 9-2 us just four minutes in. Is that good?” The Spartans’ unofficial answer might’ve been: “Not quite.”
The Spartans played catch up midway through the first. The first comeback kid was Baumann, who scored a triple for the 12th game in a row. SJSU trailed Nevada 14-5. Shortly after, Ivey scored 5 unanswered points and SJSU cut Nevada’s lead in half 20-10. Soon, SJSU began making it rain with 3-pointers. Baumann and Ivey double dipped on 3-point baskets and the Spartans pulled within 4, 20-16.
The Spartans played with a lot of heart and hung tight against the 10th ranked Wolf Pack. SJSU trailed Nevada 26-18 late in the first.
The Wolf Pack missed a layup on the last possession in the first. The ball went to the Spartans, but Baumann missed a shot from a distance. Nevada’s shooting slump sort of carried over from Albuquerque, N.M. Nevada got blown out by New Mexico 85-58 last Saturday. Yet, SJSU headed to the locker room, trailing Nevada 32-23 at halftime.
The Spartans opened the second half with an unexpected surge that surprised the home crowd in Reno, Nev. LeCesne scored 7 early points to pull SJSU within 9, 41-32, at the 15:35 mark of the second.
SJSU trailed Nevada 49-34 at the 11:52 mark of the second. But if there was a silver lining (or two) for the Spartans, Steadman had 6 points and 10 rebounds, while Ivey added 10 points.
The Wolf Pack unleashed their fury, which likely stemmed from their most recent loss, on the Spartans. Nevada poured in the points as Caleb Martin hit quite a few 3s and Miles Morales drove to the basket for a 1-handed layup, which was a SportsCenter Top 10-worthy moment. And, of course, the Nevada DJ played “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, while the local media made plenty of references on the 1969 hit because of the one and only Jordan Caroline.
The Wolf Pack continued to pour in the points, and Jazz Johnson hit some 3s to close out the game. Nevada was in the driver’s seat 92-53 with 30 seconds left in the second. The Spartans fell to the Wolf Pack 92-53.
SJSU dropped to 3-11 (0-2 Mountain West), while Nevada rose to 15-1 (2-1 Mountain West)
SJSU returns home to host the Boise State Broncos on Saturday, January 12 at 12:00 pm PT.