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Martin brothers lead No. 8 Nevada over Boise State 93-73

February 3, 2019
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Nevada forward Cody Martin, right, shoots over the Boise State defense in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Reno, Nev., Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — In an effort to attack the basket more, Nevada guard Caleb Martin recently set a personal goal — get a minimum of 30 touches in the paint each game.

Martin first tried it this week at UNLV and came up three short. On Saturday, he topped the mark with 32, and led all scorers with 30 points as the No. 8 Wolf Pack beat Boise State 93-73.

“I’m just trying to make a conscious effort trying to get to the paint, whether it’s an offensive rebound, drive and kick, drive and try to get a layup or whatever I can, just any way I can get to the paint,” said Martin, who has taken 215 of his 315 shots this season from beyond the 3-point line.

“It’s really helped me out a lot because I’m kind of working my way inside out. It’s helped me not rely on the 3 as much, and whenever I start attacking guys, they give me a little more space and that’s when I have the opportunity to shoot the three ball comfortably,” he said.

Twin brother Cody Martin added a season-high 21 as Nevada (21-1, 8-1 Mountain West) had no trouble beating Boise State.

Nevada struggled the previous time it played the Broncos, winning 72-71 on Cody Martin’s 3-pointer in the final seconds at Boise on Jan. 15.

Nevada never trailed after the first minute in the rematch.

The Wolf Pack shot 55.6 percent as a team and 46.4 percent beyond the arc. Boise State led the conference in 3-point defense coming into the game (27.5 percent).

“I think our team has kind of figured out who they are offensively,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said. “They’re really comfortable in their roles right now.”

Musselman said Nevada is coming off its best three-game stretch of the season and is “playing at a clip like we did last year” when the team made a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament.

The Wolf Pack broke away shortly before halftime, going on a 9-2 run for a 41-30 lead at the break. Nevada shot even better in the second half, making 20 of 35 shots.

Alex Hobbs led Boise State (10-12, 5-4) with 21 points. Justinian Jessup and Derrick Alston each scored 19.

“They’re No. 8 in the country for a reason,” Alston said. “They’re a talented team. They had all the answers for us. But I’m just proud of our guys and how we kept fighting the whole game until the last minute.”

BIG PICTURE

Boise State: The Broncos were seeking to finish what they started in their near-miss vs. Nevada last month. Half of their conference losses have come against the Wolf Pack, the Mountain West’s top team.

Nevada: Since scoring 20 points in the first half against Air Force on Jan. 19 — its lowest output for a first half since Musselman arrived at Nevada in 2015 — the Wolf Pack has averaged 47 points in its last seven halves.

CAREER LADDER

Cody Martin topped the 1,000-point total. Jordan Caroline scored 13 points and had 13 rebounds, moving into sixth on Nevada’s all-time rebound list.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL

The Wolf Pack outscored Boise State 17-2 on points off turnovers. Nevada had 22 assists and only four turnovers.

UP NEXT

Boise State: The Broncos return home Wednesday against San Jose State, a rematch of their 87-64 road victory Jan. 12.

Nevada: The Wolf Pack plays Wednesday at Colorado State. Nevada beat the Rams 100-60 on Jan. 23.

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