Caleb Martin powers Nevada over Utah to perfect non-league mark

Caleb Martin
Caleb Martin set career highs in points and assists in Nevada's win over Utah. (Nevada athletics)

You better have a big halftime lead against Nevada if you want to have any shot of beating the Wolf Pack.

That's what the team's opponents are learning this season, the latest lesson being taught to Utah.

After a relatively slow first half, No. 6-ranked Nevada once again overpowered its opponent in the second half, scoring an 86-71 victory over Utah. The Wolf Pack completed a perfect run through non-conference season for the first time in school history.

Caleb Martin had a spectacular showing, setting career highs in points (33) and assists (seven) while adding four steals and two blocks. Martin made 11-of-23 field goals, including 6-of-16 from three. Jordan Caroline added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Jazz Johnson chipped in 12 points, hitting all four of his 3-point attempts. Trey Porter scored nine points and Cody Martin added eight points and six rebounds.

The Wolf Pack led 38-37 at halftime before opening the second half on a 13-3 run. Nevada made nine of its first 10 shots after intermission to open a double-digit lead. It was never challenged after that despite foul trouble.

Nevada made 47.5 percent of its shots and warmed up from outside after a slow start from three. The Wolf Pack hit 12-of-26 3-pointers (46.2 percent), with Caleb Martin and Johnson hitting 10 of those. Utah shot 41.5 percent, including 9-of-25 from three. Sedrick Barefield had an outstanding game for the Utes, scoring 33 points on 10-of-15 shooting. The rest of the team scored 38 points on 12-of-38 shooting (31.6 percent).

The Wolf Pack forced 18 turnovers while giving the ball away only six times, which helped Nevada overcome a 39-30 deficit in rebounding.

Nevada improved to 13-0, just one win shy of trying the best start in school history. It is one of five unbeaten teams in the nation. Utah fell to 6-6 and dropped its first home non-conference game since November 2016.

The Wolf Pack opens Mountain West action Wednesday when it hosts Utah State.

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