With two minutes left in the game and the score tied at 67-67, Nevada had a prime opportunity to come away with a victory. Instead, the Wolf Pack failed to find the bucket as it went without a field goal down the stretch, allowing Colorado State to steal a 73-69 win. Nevada is now 11-11 overall and 2-6 in Mountain West play, with its two victories coming against former-Western Athletic counterparts Fresno State and Boise State. Through the first half of MWC play, the Pack is yet to defeat an original member.
After both sides had a trip down the court come up empty, Colorado State center Colton Iverson grabbed a rebound and put home the basket with a pair of Nevada defenders draped on his back. The two-point lead proved to be enough as a desperation three missed and CSU guard Wes Eikmeier sealed the win at the charity stripe with four free throws.
To begin the game, things looked up for the Silver and Blue. After a pair of Ram layups opened the scoring, Nevada blew past the visitors to take the lead. Using 11 points from guard Malik Story, including a trio of three-pointers, the Wolf Pack strung together a 20-4 burst to grab a 20-8 advantage with 12:06 remaining in the first half.
Nevada held the gap at double-digits with the score at 26-15 following a pull-up triple by Story with 8:11 on the clock. Colorado State would then storm back into the contest, ripping off a 16-7 run to close out the first half of play with the Pack ahead 33-31.
Out of the intermission, the sides battled back and forth as the lead changed hands seven times in the second half.
With the game tied at 40-40 with 16:38 to play, the Rams hit a trio of threes as they scored 11 of the next 13 points to surge ahead 51-42 at the 12:45 mark. Nevada then countered with a 20-6 run that was capped by a high-arcing three from Story. That left the Pack with a 62-57 edge with 7:03 on the clock.
Six unanswered points by Colorado State handed the lead back to the Rams with the score 63-62. An exchange of the next four baskets brought the Colorado State advantage to 67-66 with 2:42 to play before a free throw by Story knotted the contest at 67 with 2:25 remaining.
Nevada saw a limited distribution of the ball on the scoring chart as only a pair finished in double-digits. Story led the way with a game-high 31 while guard Deonte Burton chipped in 11 points, accounting for 61 percent of the Pack’s scoring.
The Wolf Pack will look to end its three-game skid at home on Saturday against Air Force. Tip is set for 3 p.m.