Boise State tries again to stop No. 8 Nevada's roll
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No. 8 Nevada has won six consecutive games by an average of 20.3 points since suffering its lone loss of the season at New Mexico.
Only one team in that stretch, Boise State, managed to stay within single digits. The teams meet again Saturday afternoon in Reno.
It took a Cody Martin 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining to give Nevada (20-1, 7-1 Mountain West) a 72-71 road victory over the Broncos on Jan. 15.
It figures to be a much tougher challenge for Boise State at Lawlor Events Center, where Nevada, which holds a one-game lead in the Mountain West in its quest for a regular-season three-peat, has won 13 consecutive games and 42 of its past 44.
Boise State (10-11, 5-3), which is tied with UNLV for fourth place in the Mountain West, brings in a two-game winning streak, including a 70-68 victory at Colorado State on Tuesday. That marked the team's first victory in six games decided by one possession.
Despite having an overall losing record, the Broncos sound confident heading into Saturday's rematch.
"We're excited for the direction we're going," junior guard Marcus Dickinson told the Idaho Statesman after scoring 12 points in the win over the Rams. "We're a special team, and I don't think anybody but us really sees that. We're young but we're getting better each game."
Junior guard Alex Hobbs had a team-high 19 points in the first meeting against the Wolf Pack.
"When we're playing at our best, we're one of the best teams in the league," Hobbs said.
Nevada is coming off an 87-70 victory at UNLV on Tuesday night, a contest that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicated. The Wolf Pack bolted to a 48-26 halftime lead while limiting the Runnin' Rebels to 30.3 percent shooting, including 0-for-12 from 3-point range, before the break.
Nevada led by as many as 25 points early in the second half before coasting to the finish line.
"I thought, defensively, we were phenomenal in the first half," Nevada coach Eric Musselman told reporters. "They're a good offensive team; they can shoot the three. I thought, from a defensive standpoint, we played as good as we're going to play in that first half."
Reigning Mountain West Player of the Year Caleb Martin, who is averaging 18.5 points per game, scored a game-high 26 points to go along with six rebounds in the win. Senior forward Jordan Caroline, son of former NFL star Simeon Rice, added 18 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season. Caroline leads the team in scoring (18.6 points per game) and rebounding (9.7).
"To come on the road and be able to win by double digits, really proud of our defensive effort," Musselman said.
Cody Martin, the 6-foot-7 twin brother of Caleb, leads the Mountain West in assists (5.3 per game) and was the conference's Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. He had 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the win over UNLV and hit arguably the team's biggest shot in conference play in the game at Boise State when he snapped a one-month drought from beyond the arc with his game-winner from the top of the key.
"We've got guys who are willing to take big shots, and obviously Cody stepped up," Musselman said.
Nevada has won the past five meetings against the Broncos.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 1, 2019