Caleb Martin scored 25 points and twin brother Cody Martin added 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds as No. 20 Nevada defeated Colorado State 92-83 to clinch at least a share of its second consecutive Mountain West Conference regular-season championship on Sunday afternoon at Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev.
Jordan Caroline finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds and Josh Hall added 12 points for the Wolf Pack (25-5, 14-2), who also clinched the No. 1 seed for next month’s Mountain West tourney in Las Vegas. Nevada holds a two-game lead over second place Boise State (22-6, 12-4) with two games remaining but owns the head-to-head tiebreaker by virtue of sweeping the season series with the Broncos.
Prentiss Nixon, who was 1-of-18 from 3-point range in his two previous games, finished with 27 points and nine rebounds and was 7-of-16 beyond the arc for Colorado State (11-19, 4-13). Anthony Bonner scored 19 points and forward Nico Carvacho added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Rams, who lost their third straight game and for 10th time in 11 games.
Colorado State, coming in off a 33-point home loss to Boise State that was the team’s worst in nine years, trailed just 40-38 at halftime and later led 58-57 after a 3-pointer by Nixon with 12:41 remaining. But Nevada answered with an 11-3 run capped by a 3-pointer by Iowa State transfer Hallice Cooke to take a 68-61 lead with 9:35 to go.
The Rams closed to within 68-66 after a 3-pointer by Nixon, but the Wolf Pack then pulled away with a 10-0 run capped by two free throws by Caleb Martin. The Rams never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Cody Martin narrowly missed garnering Nevada’s first triple-double since 1979 when Johnny High accomplished the feat against Southern Oregon.
The Rams were coached by Jase Herl, who began the season as the team’s No. 2 assistant but was named interim coach for reigning Mountain West Coach of the Year Larry Eustachy, who was placed on administrative leave by the school on Feb. 3 for a “climate assessment” of the program.
—Field Level Media