Fresno State (8-16) at Nevada (12-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 19, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lawlor Events Center (11,536) -- Reno, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: FSU 5-7, Nevada 10-4. Away Record: FSU 3-9, Nevada 2-8. Neutral Record: FSU 0-0, Nevada 0-0. Conference Record: FSU 2-9, Nevada 3-7. Series Record: Nevada leads, 50-37.
GAME NOTES: Former Western Athletic Conference members complete their season series in the newly-constituted Mountain West Conference on Tuesday night, as the Nevada Wolf Pack entertain the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Lawlor Events Center.
These two squads are at the bottom of the MWC standings at the moment, the Pack sporting a 3-7 mark in league play and the Bulldogs a step behind at 2-9, and there's not much time remaining before the league tournament begins in March.
Nevada has been out of action now for close to a week, last taking the floor at Wyoming on Wednesday when it was crushed by the Cowboys in a 68-48 final. The defeat was the fourth in the last five outings for the program.
As the schedule would have it, Fresno State's last opponent was Wyoming as well, and while the Bulldogs were able to take the Pokes to overtime on Saturday in Laramie, the outcome was still a 55-51 setback for the visitors. Fresno has now bowed in three straight and seven of the last eight games overall.
Nevada won the first meeting of the season at the Save Mart Center last month by a score of 68-61, which means the all-time series now favors the Pack by a count of 50-37, with Nevada having won five straight over FSU.
Leading by 10 points at the break, the Bulldogs gave themselves a solid chance to pick up a rare road win in conference play, but the team ended up shooting just 7-of-28 from the floor in the second half and then made just one basket through overtime versus the Cowboys. Kevin Foster led the fumbling offense for the Bulldogs with 14 points, shooting 5-of-10 from the field, while the rest of the squad combined to make just 16-of-53. Tyler Johnson added 13 points and matched Foster on the glass with seven rebounds.
Fresno State's offense has been dreadful this season, outside of a handful of solid efforts. The squad is scoring a mere 59.2 ppg while shooting 38.6 percent from the field. Tyler Johnson is the only double-digit scorer with 11.9 ppg. The only saving grace for FSU, if there is such a thing for a team that has lost twice as many games as it has won, is that the defense is holding the opposition to just 60.8 ppg.
The Nevada offense was just the latest to feel the pressure applied by the Wyoming defense, as the Pack made a total of just eight field goals in the first half of their meeting and ended up bowing at Arena Auditorium. Deonte Burton scored a team-best 13 points, followed by Malik Story with 11 as the pair combined to shoot 10-of-22 from the floor, while Kevin Panzer chipped in 10 points as well.
In conference play the Wolf Pack is being held to just 62.0 ppg, stemming from 39.4 percent shooting from the floor and a disappointing 28.6 percent accuracy beyond the arc. Burton (16.8 ppg) and Story (15.3 ppg) are always the focal points on offense, but the duo can only do so much. Jerry Evans (8.6 ppg) has had his moments by leading the group with 7.4 rpg, but for some reason he continues to try his hand at 3-point shooting where he has made just 26.9 percent of his attempts.
Fresno State will again try to keep the scoring to a minimum, but the fact that the Pack was able to win on the road in the first meeting of the season gives them confidence that they can do it at home this time around.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nevada 63, Fresno State 56
02/19 10:32:50 ET