Reno — Every game is big, but this game could determine the one seed in the Mountain West Conference for this year. The Nevada Wolf Pack faced off against a San Diego State team Wednesday night, the Aztecs are a team that opened up the year as heavy favorites of the Mountain West Conference.
Early in this game the Wolf Pack jumped out t0 a 6-2 lead with Cameron Oliver hitting a opening three, but due to lackadaisicle inside defense and poor passing allowed the Aztecs to maintain a 9-7 score going into the first timeout of the half with 15:11 left. The Pack held steady exchanging multiple scoring possessions sending Cameron Oliver to the free throw line where he would go 1-2 taking the score to 12-10 going into the second timeout of the game.
The Aztecs at about the ten minute mark would tie the game and get a foul call that looked like it could be a momentum shifter. Oliver was charged with a foul early in the 12th minute of this game only to answer back with a crowd shifting slam dunk taking the game to 17-16 with a slim Aztec lead at 7:38. The scores continued to exchange as the Pack took the lead off of a 3 point play putting them back in the leave near the six minute mark in the first half 23-22. The Aztecs off of a technical foul had the an opportunity for two free throws and a possession. They capitalized on the free throws but the possession was negated.
The Wolf Pack with steady play towards the end of the first half were executing a lot more fundamental basketball play gaining a lead 30-27 lead at the two minute mark. Lawlor Events Center erupted after a missed three that forced Cameron Oliver to slam the ball back with authority for a basket. The Pack would score before the half with a solid lead taking a 35-31 lead into the locker room.
The second half was set to begin and Nevada started off the second half never wanting to look back maintaining a 42-34 lead with a timeout called at 16:42. The crowd continuing to be deafening gave us the true realization that this was not just another game but the implication was far more. The game continued at a similar pace with the Pack consistently maintaining a 6-8 point lead through much of the first ten minutes of the second half. The Aztecs showed signs of life with their lead scorer Max Hoetzel showing some fight through contact. Nevada at about the six minute mark in the second half missed two consecutive baskets trying to milk the clock only to realize that the third time was a charm extending their lead to ten 60-50 was the score at five minutes to go.
The Pack would score again but it was in between two Aztec three’s taking the score to slimmer 62-56 margin with 4:15 to go. Then it was do or die time for Nevada would they put the game away or let the lead slip, DJ Fenner hitting a three pointer within three minutes to go. Then within a blink of an eye the margin would be 65-61 with less than 40 seconds to go with Marcus Marshall hitting a three of his own to widen the score 68-64 with 32.8 seconds left. Cameron Oliver missed a late game free throw with San Diego coming back and turning it into a score 68-66 but the Pack would be forced back to the line. The Wolf Pack got both free throws but San Diego answers back with a three making it 70-69 the next two free throws would be vital for the Pack’s chances at winning. Swish goes the first for Marshall and the same for the second San Diego would fire in desperation but has no luck. The Nevada Wolf Pack win 72-69 in a thriller and beat the red hot San Diego Aztecs.