Babbitt scores 26 in Pack’s opening win |

Babbitt scores 26 in Pack’s opening win

The Associated Press

RENO – Luke Babbitt scored a game-high 26 points as Nevada cruised past Montana State 75-61 in the season opener for both teams Saturday night.

Armon Johnson added 16 points for the Wolf Pack.

Erik Rush scored 13 points to lead Montana State.

Johnson scored all of his points in the first half and Babbitt added 13 as Nevada built a 50-31 halftime lead. Ray Kraemer hit three 3-pointers in the opening half and finished the game with 10 points.

Cody Anderson and Bryan Louff each had 10 points for Montana State.

The Bobcats played with just eight players because two starters (Marquis Navarre and Will Bynum) are ineligible for the first three games of the season after participating in an unsanctioned basketball event this summer.

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Nevada used a 14-0 run to take a 26-10 lead with 10:30 to play in the first half.

“We played well in the first half, but we definitely have to play better in the second half if we want to compete in our next few games,” Babbitt said.

Nevada was outscored 30-25 in the second half.

“It’s sometimes hard to keep your energy in the second half when you have a big lead like that,” Babbitt said. “But we want to strive to be a perfect team and that’s something we have to fix.”

Nevada made 7-of-11 3-pointers in the opening half but was just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc in the second half.

“I just think we were a little overconfident and didn’t respect our opponent in the second half,” first-year Nevada coach David Carter said. “When you do that the other team will come back on you. We have to learn from this.”