Since beating Montana in the season opener by an 81-66 final the Wolf Pack have failed to get back into the win column. The losing streak reached six in a row on Saturday night when the team lost to in-state rival and nationally- ranked UNLV at home in the Lawlor Events Center by an 82-70 score.
As for the Cougars, they too were in action on Saturday but for the third straight game they were on the road and needed a minor miracle to pull out a 75-71 win over Sam Houston State. The victory snapped a two-game slide overall and was the first road win of the season for Houston following back-to-back losses at TCU and LSU within the last week.
Houston holds a commanding 7-2 advantage in the all-time series between the squads, but the most recent matchup a year ago went in favor of the Pack by a 112-99 score in Reno. The victory for Nevada snapped a four-game slide in the series.
Dario Hunt recorded a double-double for Nevada with 14 points and a team-best 13 rebounds, but his efforts failed to get the Pack over the hump against rival UNLV in Reno on Saturday night. Malik Story and Deonte Burton each tallied 15 points and three assists for the group, but the squad could not overcome 17 turnovers and just 5-of-20 shooting behind the three-point line, even in front of a friendly crowd. Through seven games Hunt leads the team in both scoring (12.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg) and is shooting a solid 50 percent from the floor. Burton provides some scoring support at 9.9 ppg and is responsible for a team-high 28 dishes, against only 16 miscues.
Against a Sam Houston State squad that had just one loss on their schedule heading into the weekend, the Cougars had their hands full on Saturday, earning s hard-fought overtime victory. Kendrick Washington came off the bench to post a team-best 21 points and grab 11 rebounds before fouling out, while Zamal Nixon stood as the only other double-digit scorer for the group with 14 points. Darian Thibodeaux recorded seven points and 10 rebounds, but like Washington, he was charged with six turnovers, the team finishing with 21 overall. Adam Brown made an impact as well with 10 assists, eight rebounds, seven points and three steals. Brown, the leading scorer in five games thus far in 2010-11, is responsible for 14.4 ppg as he shoots a sizzling 54.5 percent from three-point range. Brown is also a deft distributor, handing out 26 assists which ranks second only to Nixon who has 38 dishes thus far. Washington (12.8 ppg), who has come off the bench in all six of his appearances, is finding his groove as one of the better rebounders with 6.3 per outing.
With Washington coming on for the Cougars, the home team in this case is getting better by the minute and will have little trouble taking out the once- powerful Wolf Pack tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Houston 79, Nevada 67