San Jose State vs Nevada Preview and Prediction
San Jose State vs Nevada Preview
A team that had undefeated aspirations saw those dreams quickly evaporate on Saturday when the Nevada Wolf Pack got walloped by New Mexico, 85-58.
No. 10 Nevada looks to rebound from being steamrolled when it hosts struggling San Jose State in Wednesday’s Mountain West tilt in Reno, Nevada.
The Wolf Pack (14-1, 1-1 MW) began the season with 14 consecutive victories but played their worst game of the campaign in Saturday’s 85-58 road loss against the Lobos.
Nevada established season lows for points scored and field-goal percentage (33.3) after entering the contest as one of the nation’s four remaining unbeaten teams.
“We just had a bad night all around,” Wolf Pack coach Eric Musselman said. “We had a bad night sharing the ball. We had a bad night defensively. Usually they’re zoned in on the scoring report, but we let guys who are shooters take open shots and we didn’t play like who we are. Just a terrible game for all of us.”
“We didn’t play hard,” Musselman said afterward. “We splintered and we came apart.”
Things could rapidly improve against San Jose State (3-10, 0-1), which has dropped four straight games and was picked to finish dead last in the Mountain West this season.
The Spartans lost by single digits to Stanford and California to start the slide but things quickly regressed. San Jose State was crushed 75-45 by Saint Mary’s on Dec. 29 and then was routed 73-53 by Fresno State in last Wednesday’s Mountain West opener.
“It only takes five minutes for our team to lose it,” SJSU head coach Jean Prioleau told reporters. “… We have swings in a game, where it could take two minutes for us, three minutes, five minutes. Obviously, the magical question is ‘how do you stop that?’ We have to play with better composure.”
Junior forward Michael Steadman had 18 points and 10 rebounds against Fresno State for his sixth double-double of the season. Steadman leads the Spartans in scoring (13.8) and rebounding (9.2).
Junior guard Brae Ivey also is averaging in double digits at 12.1 per game.
Nevada’s star struggles
Senior shooting guard Caleb Martin has not been himself the last two games–after scoring at least 12 points in all 13 games this season and 20 points in seven games–he has failed to reach double figures the last two outings. He is 5-for-22 from the floor in those games and the last one was in their lone loss to New Mexico.
Martin’s 18.3 scoring average is tied with senior power forward Jordan Caroline for the team lead. Caroline, who leads the squad in rebounding (9.8), had 17 points and eight rebounds against the Lobos and has scored in double digits in all 15 games.
Nevada holds a 59-50 advantage in the series and has won nine of the last 10 games (and 19 of the last 20). The Spartans’ last win was on Feb. 18, 2014 in a 66-64 win in Reno. Prior to that, the Spartans last win was on Jan. 10, 2008.
LINE: -27 Nevada
Dan’s Bet: -27 Nevada
The Wolf Pack are going to come out guns-blazing after their loss to UNM. I expect a 30-40 point victory for the 10th-ranked team in the nation.
Score Prediction: Nevada 91 San Jose State 55
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