Stephens has career-high 30 points, No. 20 Nevada wins
RENO, Nev. (AP) Kendall Stephens scored a career-high 30 points and No. 20 Nevada hit 14 3-pointers in an 80-67 victory over San Jose State on Wednesday night.
Jordan Caroline and Hallice Cooke had 15 points apiece for the Wolf Pack (24-5, 13-2 Mountain West). Cooke scored all his points on 3-pointers in the first half as the Wolf Pack opened a double-digit lead.
Ryan Wellage had 22 points and nine rebounds for San Jose State (3-23, 0-15).
Nevada and San Jose State got caught up in a good old-fashioned 3-point-shooting contest, and that suited the Wolf Pack’s Kendall Stephens just fine.
Stephens scored a career-best 30 points and the 20th-ranked Wolf Pack hit 14 3-pointers in an 80-67 victory over the Spartans on Wednesday night.
Jordan Caroline and Hallice Cooke had 15 points apiece for Nevada (24-5, 13-2 Mountain West). Cooke scored all his points on 3s in the first half as the Wolf Pack opened a double-digit lead and never relinquished it.
Nevada coach Eric Musselman praised his team’s 3-point shooting and Stephens’ performance in particular.
”We believe Kendall is one of the best shooters in the country,” Musselman said. ”He has NBA range and every time he shoots it, we think it’s going in.”
Nevada shot 44 percent from the field, including 14 for 37 (38 percent) on 3s. The Wolf Pack also had 19 assists, including seven each from Cooke and Cody Martin.
”I was impressed with our ball movement,” Musselman said. ”I thought it really opened up some good looks for us.”
Ryan Wellage had 22 points and nine rebounds for San Jose State (3-23, 0-15). Oumar Barry had 12 points and Jalen James added 11.
The Spartans shot 43 percent from the field, including 10 for 24 (42 percent) on 3s.
Nevada led 42-29 at halftime and quickly stretched it to 47-32 on a 3-pointer by Stephens and a layup by Caroline. The Spartans cut the lead to 10 several times in the second half, but Nevada answered every run to keep its double-digit lead. Stephens 3-pointer with 6:05 left put Nevada ahead 72-57.
The Wolf Pack won despite only 10 combined points from its two leading scorers, twins Cody and Caleb Martin. Cody Martin, who had 30 points in a victory over Utah State last week, finished with two points on 1 of 3 shooting.
”I think that shows you the kind of teammate Cody is,” Musselman said. ”Here he is coming off a 30-point game and took only 3 shots.”
Cooke hit four 3-pointers in a four-minute stretch as Nevada turned a 7-5 deficit in the first half into a 25-14 lead with 11:51 left, and it never trailed again.
San Jose State hosts San Diego State on Saturday.
Nevada hosts struggling Colorado State on Sunday in its final home game.