The Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team can’t wait to get off the islands.
The Wolf Pack went winless in three games this weekend in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, losing to Weber State 59-56 on Monday afternoon. The Pack also lost to Seton Hall and Clemson in the tournament to fall to 2-3 on the season.
It was the Wolf Pack’s first meeting with Weber State, its former Big Sky Conference foe, since it beat the Wildcats 72-64 on Dec. 13, 2003 at Lawlor Events Center behind Kirk Snyder’s 16 points. Weber State has a history of disappointing the Wolf Pack, having knocked the Nevada out of the Big Sky Conference postseason tournament three consecutive years (1988-90).
Weber State, which lost to Illinois State and LSU to open the Virgin Islands tournament, is also now 2-3 on the season.
The Wolf Pack, which will play at Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday and at Long Beach State on Dec. 3 before returning home on Dec. 7 to face Cal, dominated the Wildcats on the boards. The Pack outrebounded Weber State 43-23 and had 18 offensive rebounds to Weber’s five. The Pack, though, had just four assists in the game (point guard Marqueze Coleman did not have a single assist in 34 minutes), turned the ball over 17 times and shot just 36 percent (20-of-57) from the floor.
Michael Perez’s 3-pointer gave the Wolf Pack a 55-53 lead with just 1:56 to play. The Pack offense, however, dried up the rest of the way and produced just one point in the final 1:56.
Perez missed a lay-up — it was blocked by Weber’s Kyndahl Hill — with 46 seconds to play but the Pack seemingly got a break when Weber’s Jeremy Senglin missed one of his two free throws, preserving a slim (55-54) Wolf Pack lead with 40 seconds left. Coleman, though, returned the favor, missing one of two free throws with 38 seconds to play as the Pack took a 56-54 lead.
Senglin, who had 16 points, then gave Weber a 57-56 lead with a 3-pointer with just 19 seconds to play.
The Wolf Pack took a timeout with 30 seconds to play but Perez turned the ball over with six seconds left. Weber’s Joel Bolomboy drained two free throws with five seconds to play as the Wildcats held on for a 59-56 victory.
The Wolf Pack started fast, taking a 10-5 lead just six minutes into the game. D.J. Fenner hit a jumper for a 6-5 lead, A.J. West tipped in an offensive rebounds for an 8-5 lead and Perez hit two free throws for a 10-5 advantage.
Eric Cooper had a lay-up off the bench for a 16-13 Nevada lead and then hit two free throws for an 18-13 lead with 9:24 to play in the first half. Kaileb Rodriguez’s dunk gave the Pack a 20-16 lead, a tip-in by Ronnie Stevens put the Pack up 22-16 and Coleman connected on a 3-pointer for a 25-16 Pack lead with 6:28 to go in the opening half.
Weber State led 27-26 at halftime.
Fenner had a layup to tie the game at 45-45 with just under six minutes to go in the second half. West, who had 12 points and 14 rebounds in just 27 minutes, hit a short jumper for a 48-47 Wolf Pack lead with 4:10 to play and a layup by Fenner off a feed from Lucas Stivrins gave the Pack a 50-47 lead with 3:47 left. Stivrins also fed West for another lay-up and a 52-51 Wolf Pack lead with 2:40 to play.
Perez, who was 8-of-9 from the free throw line, led the Wolf Pack with 15 points. Coleman had 12 points. Rodriguez and Stevens combined to play 38 minutes and score just five points. Cooper was 1-of-7 from the floor and scored just four points in 15 minutes.
Bolomboy finished with 13 points for Weber state.
The Pack was just 2-of-11 on 3-pointers while Weber was 6-of-16 behind the line.