Hawaii fell to 0-14 all-time in Reno and dropped its 14th straight road game, including 12 consecutive in WAC tilts.
Nevada grabbed the momentum midway through the first half. The Wolf Pack never trailed, but the game was tied at 16-16 following a Zane Johnson 3-pointer with 11:50 to go in the first half.
The game was still close with 7:32 remaining before halftime after a layup by Hawaii post Vander Joaquim made it 24-22. The Wolf Pack gradually pulled away from there.
Nevada forged ahead 37-25 after an Olek Czyz 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 3:57 mark of the first half. Hawaii got a bucket and a free throw to make it 37-28, but Nevada finished the first half on an 8-1 run and captured a 45-29 lead at the break.
Czyz was the catalyst. He scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half, knocking down 7-of-9 shots in the first 20 minutes, including 3-for-4 from 3-point land. He finished the conference clash 9-of-13 and 3-for-5 from deep.
“We did a really good job of playing together,” Czyz said. “The guys were finding me and I was knocking down shots. Then we continued to do that all night.”
Hawaii struggled from the field, shooting 9-of-23 (39 percent) from the field in the first half compared to Nevada’s 15-33 (46 percent). Hawaii shot the ball better in the second half (14-for-31), but it was too little too late. Nevada finished 30-for-64 (47 percent).
Leading by 16 at the intermission, Nevada never let Hawaii get back in contention. The Wolf Pack outscored the Warriors 16-7 to initiate the second half. Malik Story buried four treys in that stretch, capping it with back-to-back bombs that gave Nevada a 61-37 lead with 16:28 still left in the contest.
“I don’t think we played hard enough,” first-year Hawaii coach Gib Arnold said. “We didn’t have the right approach to win on the road. You have to play like men instead of playing like boys. Tonight we played like boys. This was the first time all year that we didn’t come ready to play.”
Hawaii did stop the bleeding briefly. It scored 11 of the next 14 points, trimming Nevada’s advantage to 64-47. Unfortunately for the visitors, they never got closer than that 17-point gap the rest of the way.
Nevada eventually pushed its lead to a game-high 25 points, following a Jordan Finn three-point play with four minutes to go.
“We knew they had good shooters and good guard play,” Nevada coach David Carter said. “We wanted to make them work for all they got … I thought we had really good pressure the whole game and that dictated the game.”
The Wolf Pack put four players in double digits in the scoring column. In addition to the 23 points of Czyz, Dario Hunt also chipped in 23 points. Story finished with 18 and point guard Deonte Burton added 11.
“We came out aggressive,” Carter said. “We were more aggressive. We are very talented. This is just inexperience coming together. It was good to have a game like this.”
Joaquim paced Hawaii (9-5, 0-2 WAC) offensively with 22 points. Hiram Thompson and Zane Johnson contributed 14 and 10 points respectively in the losing cause.
Nevada (4-10, 1-0) goes to Fresno State Monday for its first WAC road game. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.