The Wolf Pack, which took off to an early 4-0 lead on the shoulders of Armon Johnson, looked impressive this early in the season, nearly shooting lights out in the first half.
After 20 minutes of play, Nevada was shooting 72 percent from the field, 18-25 and 63.6 percent from behind the three-point line making good on 7 of 11 shots.
"I thought we had good energy for the most of the game," Johnson said.
Nevada was hardly threatened by the Bobcats in the first half except for in the first five minutes when MSU tied the game at eight on an Erik Rush layup. Nevada went on to a 16-2 run for a 26-10 lead over the visitors.
"That's how we have to play the whole time," Babbitt said.
Brandon Fields hit a triple to give Nevada a 33-13 edge. On the next trip down the court, Luke Babbitt added a trey of his own, for the 36-13 lead.
"It felt good," Nevada's first year head coach David Carter said after his first regular season win as head coach. "We still have a long ways to go. There's 28, 29 more games to go. It always feels good to get a win, I told the guys congratulations. We have a long ways to go."
For the Bobcats, Bryan Louff hit a three, when Ray Kraemer over shot on defense giving Louff an open glance with 3:46 left in the half. Kraemer took a trip down the court and responded with a three of his own for a 45-21 lead.
Nevada took a big 50-31 edge into the locker room at halftime.
"I thought the first half we had a lot of energy," Carter said. "The second half we came out flat. We'd probably been a little over confident with a big lead. Secondly, you're disrespecting an opponent. Not respecting an opponent, so when you do those things they're going to come back."
The second half was a bit slower, with fatigue an obvious factor for both teams, with Nevada's shooting percentage dropping.
Joey Shaw got things started for Nevada with a quick three for a 53-31 lead. It was the only triple Nevada would get the rest of the game. With 14:50 left in the second half, Fields put in a score for Nevada. Seconds later he got a foul and with a grimace ran off the court and out of sight. He later said he had cramps in both legs but would be fine. He returned to the game a few minutes later.
"We practice harder than we play," Fields said. "We have to start interpreting that to our game."
To add to the theatrics, with about seven minutes left, Johnson got a breakaway, dished the ball at the backboard in an attempted dunk and missed. London Giles quickly replaced him and Johnson did not return to the game.
"I tried to make it, I missed it," Johnson said simply after the game.
Carter had a bit more to say on Johnson's play.
"You can't disrespect the game like that," Carter said. "I told him, 'You can dunk the ball very well, why would you do that? That's not what we're made of, that's not how we play.' And he understood that, he was embarrassed. And he didn't play the rest of the game.
"That's just not Nevada basketball...it's not what we're about. It's not about showboating, it's not about disrespecting an opponent. It's about winning."
Leading 71-52 Babbitt completed a three-point play to regain the 20-point lead it flirted with for the majority of the game.
The Bobcats closed out the game on a 9-1 run for the final 75-61 final.
"That's something I guess you can expect from the first game is not being perfect the whole game," Babbitt said on the team's lackluster second half play. "We need to strive to be perfect and keep improving."
Nevada's shooting percentage dropped significantly in the second half, shooting 35.7 percent from the field and just 11 percent from the three-point line.
Babbitt quietly racked up the points with 26, to go along with five rebounds. Johnson was second in scoring with 16 points. Fields added 14 for Nevada and Kraemer put in 10, on 3-5 three-point baskets.
For Montana State, Erik Rush put in 13, while Cody Anderson and Louff each added 10 more.
MSU out rebounded Nevada 34-27, with 15 offensive boards.
"We were just trying to adjust to our new defense, and trying to get used to it," Johnson said. "For the most part it worked out for us."
Nevada forced the Bobcats into 20 turnovers and scored 27 points off those turnovers.
"I thought the effort was good the second half," Carter said on his team's defense. "The second half I thought they got a little tired and they kept the pressure on them. We're trying to force more turnovers, not necessarily steal the ball but just get teams to speed up a little bit and maybe play out of their tempo."
Nevada is in action again on Wednesday in the yearly rivalry with UNLV in Las Vegas this year. The Wolf Pack will be back home on Nov. 21 to host Houston at 8:05 p.m.