Nevada men’s basketball loses in close game against San Francisco
The Wolf Pack played a hard fought game against the undefeated University of San Francisco on Nov. 18, but lost in the final minutes 73–70. This was their second loss on the road which makes Nevada 1–3 so far this season.
Head Coach Steve Alford made a change in the starting five, bringing in Kenan Blackshear for Tré Coleman. Alford emphasized this change was not Coleman’s fault and he just wanted to “shake things up” for a hope to increase the energy.
Both players were said to have worked hard defensively but need more production in their offensive approach. Alford described both men as “big guards” but after two losses, they wanted to try something different for the lineup.
The first half was impressive for Nevada with 46 points which has been the most points scored in the first half, so far this season.
Left hand center Will Baker had a great first half, scoring 18 points in the first 13 minutes of the game. Baker ended up scoring the most points out of both teams with a total of 24.
Nevada finally had a stable 10+ point lead for most of the first half after their previous two lost games. The team had a 60 percent field goal percentage for the first half and went 6–8 on three pointers.
The Wolf Pack led 46–36 at the end of the first half, although the game took a flip at the start of the second.
USF made the first five shots of the half, gaining them 11 points and putting them ahead 47–46. Nevada made a couple of points, but the score was going back and forth between who led. The leads were only by two to three points throughout the second half. Nevada kept a lead starting at 54–53 and remained in the lead for a little over six minutes until they tied at 62–62.
Both Cambridge and Grant Sherfield were out of play for a short time in the second period, and could have been a reason why USF was able to catch up. Nevada’s field goal percentage went down to 37 compared to the first half, and they went 0–9 on three pointers.
Both teams had multiple missed shots following a media timeout. USF gained the lead with a three pointer by Jamaree Bouyea.
Nevada took the lead back with 2:45 left in the half with a shot by Desmond Cambridge Jr. but was not able to keep it. USF came right back with a two pointer to take the one point lead.
Bramah missed a dunk attempt that could have put Nevada ahead, which ultimately hurt the Wolf Pack. USF shortly sank a three right after, taking the lead at 72–70. Blackshear caused a personal foul which allowed Gabe Stefanini a chance to gain two points for USF. However, Stefanini only made one of the free throws, leaving three seconds for Nevada to sink a three for a tie.
A pass was made to Will Baker who unfortunately missed the shot.
USF won in the very close game 73–70.
Although the Wolf Pack lost, Alford did not seem upset because of their more aggressive performance. He said he felt in the first couple of minutes of the second half the team grew defensively.
“I love the way the guys competed, this is what I wanted to see,” Alford said in the postgame conference.
The team’s change in toughness in less than 48 hours is what Alford wanted. He mentioned how they were soft in Santa Clara and wanted to do “everything they could to get tougher.” Getting tougher involved their concentration, communication and effort. Alford admired the team’s toughness and said, “this is the way I want to lose.”
Alford stressed to the players they can’t look at themselves, but look at how the team can develop.
Nevada fans can see if the chemistry continues to be strong during the Packs three away games in Sioux Falls, S.D. Nevada will be competing at the 2021 Crossover Classic at Sanford Pentagon from Nov. 22–24.
The Wolf Pack will go up against 4–1 South Dakota State, undefeated George Mason and 2–2 Washington.
Kelsey Middleton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kelsmiddleunr
Originally published at http://nevadasagebrush.com.