Final: Nevada 76, Boise State 57
Boise State battled against a very big, athletic Nevada team and led for over 4 minutes of the first half, but were outrebounded 21-17 and couldn’t match UNR in the paint (16-12) and hit the lockers in a 5-point hole. Justinian Jessup and Chandler Hutchison were the high-point Broncos in the first-half with 8 points a piece. Nevada was paced by Cam Oliver's 11 points...including a thunderous alley oop dunk—Oliver is built like a defensive end, btw. Full halftime stats are below.
Eeesh. The Broncos hung around for a while but eventually the wheels just came off as Nevada’s hot-shooting and the Broncos cold-shooting merged into a lukewarm puddle of muck. Nevada led for nearly 35 minutes of the contest and the Broncos just never could claw back in...especially when they really needed to. In the “surprising stats” category...the much more athletic Pack team only grabbed 3 more total rebounds than the Broncos and Boise State actually led in the points-in-the-paint category. Hutchison led all scorers with 23 points (along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists) but didn’t get near the help that the Wolf Pack’s top scorer (DJ Fenner) had. Four Nevada players were in double-figures—the Broncos had just one.
Nevada now owns sole-possession of first place and frankly, they deserve it. Musselman has turned this program around in a huge way behind some pretty stellar recruiting. Full stats are below.