Wolf Pack tops 110 points in shootout with Houston | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Wolf Pack tops 110 points in shootout with Houston

The Associated Press

RENO – Joey Shaw scored 26 points to lead Nevada to a 112-99 victory over Houston on Saturday night.

Brandon Fields added 24 points and Armon Johnson 22 points and 12 assists for the Wolf Pack (2-1), who led by as many as 26 points in the second half before holding off the Cougars in the final minutes.

Aubrey Coleman scored 34 points and Adam Brown 25 for the Cougars (1-1), who trailed 84-58 with 13:52 left to play. Houston rallied with a 36-16 run to pull to within 100-94 on a three-point play by Desmond Wade with 5 minutes to play. Coleman had 16 points during the run and Brown 13.

But Shaw hit a pair of free throws, put back a missed jumper by London Giles and drained a 19-foot jumper to spark an 8-0 Nevada run that put the game away.

“I was just trying to give energy to the team,” said Shaw, who also grabbed 9 rebounds.

Luke Babbitt had 14 points and 17 rebounds for Nevada, which outrebounded Houston 57-27.

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“Our first two games, we were outrebounded, so coach was really stressing that,” Shaw said. “Most of the time, whoever grabs the most rebounds is going to win.”

Nevada coach David Carter called the win “huge” as the Wolf Pack heads into an East Coast road trip with games against Virginia Commonwealth and North Carolina.

“Every game gets bigger after this,” Carter said. “This game was huge, especially after losing to UNLV (88-75 Wednesday).”

Nevada led 61-44 at halftime, sparked by the hot hand of Fields who had 22 points in the first half on 9 of 11 shooting. He scored the first basket of the second half, but went down with leg cramps with about 15 minutes left in the game and did not return.

With the Wolf Pack holding a 14-11 lead with 15:24 left in the first half, Fields sparked a 22-8 run that stretched the lead to 36-19 with 11:08 to play.

The Cougars whittled the lead to 45-35 with 5:33 left in the half, but Fields drove baseline for a dunk and followed with a pair of 3-pointers to put Nevada ahead 53-35 with 3:24 before halftime.

The Wolf Pack’s largest lead of the half was 61-39 on a 3-pointer by Ray Kramer, who finished with 19 points.

Nevada hit 42 of its 69 shots from the field (60.9 percent), while Houston was 37 of 84 (44.0 percent).

The Cougars forced the Wolf Pack into 23 turnovers, while committing only five of their own.