Utah spoils Nevada home opener 79-74
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Timmy Allen scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Utah beat Nevada 79-74 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Both Gach added 22 points for Utah.
After Nevada went on a 9-0 run with 8:46 to take a 58-56 lead, Utah answered with a 13-2 run over the next four minutes and never trailed again.
Utah’s starting lineup included five underclassmen and two freshmen.
“As a freshman, we had a lot of big, packed road games,” Allen, a sophomore, said after being asked about the crowd’s role in the game. “I don’t think I was ready for that. So, with this group, coming back as a sophomore and a leader, I just want to stress that to my guys in practice that every game is going to be that intense. People say we are young. We think we are experienced beyond our age. We’re a poised young group. We can build on that.”
Nevada’s Lyndsey Drew scored a career-high 30 points in his return after missing last season to injury. Drew shot 12 of 19 from the field. The rest of the Wolf Pack players shot 32.7% (16 of 49). His previous career high was 17.
“We knew they were going to run (in the second half),” Gach said. “We just kept our composure and stayed calm.”
Nevada starting guard and Louisiana Tech transfer Jalen Harris suffered a foot injury midway through the first half and did not return. He wore a boot on the bench in the second half. After the game, Nevada head coach Steve Alford did not go into the specifics of the injury, but said they should know more later this week.
“I thought we fought defensively,” Alford said. “I thought we did some good things. We did chase them off the 3-point line, which is what we like to do. We just couldn’t control the basket and we couldn’t rebound the ball.”
The Utes out rebounded Nevada 51-32 and outscored the Wolf Pack 38-26 in the paint. Nevada finished with four offensive rebounds.
“This is a marathon,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “It’s a grind, but certainly there was an opportunity to lose control of things. We had those runs where it’s a good to experience what it’s like when it’s good and then we will have film tomorrow for when sometimes things fall apart and hopefully we can learn from that.”
Utah: A young Utah team pulled off a tough road win in front of 8,234 fans at Lawlor Events Center.
Nevada: The Wolf Pack dropped its first home game since the 2017-18 (18 straight wins) and Alford lost his first game as Nevada’s head coach. A 19th straight home win would have broken the school record of 18.
Nevada committed 29 fouls to Utah’s 16. The Wolf Pack attempted nine free throws to Utah’s 35. Both Nevada forwards K.J. Hymes and Zane Meeks fouled out of the game and three other players ended with four fouls.
JONES DEBUTS FOR UTAH
True freshman and touted Salt Lake City product, guard Rylan Jones scored eight points on 2-of-8 shooting with five assists in his first game with the Utes.
Utah: The Utes return to Salt Lake City for their home opener Friday against Mississippi Valley State.
Nevada: The Wolf Pack plays its second of four-straight home games to start the season against Loyola Marymount.
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