There's something about Colorado State's defense that brings out the best in Nevada's offense.
Two weeks after posting 100 points in a win over the Rams in Reno, the No. 6-ranked Wolf Pack nearly hit the century mark again Wednesday night in Fort Collins, Colo.
Backed by tremendous nights by Jordan Caroline and Caleb Martin, Nevada scored a 98-82 win over Colorado State, which was nearly as good offensively as the Wolf Pack.
Caroline opened the game on fire, tallying 23 points in the game's first 12 minutes en route to a 30-point first half. He finished with 40 points on 11-of-19 shooting and hit a career-high six 3-pointers on eight attempts from beyond the arc. The 40 points were five shy of Caroline's career high, set at New Mexico during his sophomore season. Caroline also grabbed 12 rebounds to set the Mountain West record for career double-doubles with 41, passing Kawhi Leonard and Andrew Bogut.
"I just got white hot," Caroline said on the CBS Sports Network post-game interview. "I got on fire and tried to take the shots I liked and tried to stay in rhythm. I didn't want to get the team out of rhythm. If it was a decent shot I could hit, I just took it."
Caleb Martin added 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting. He also had six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. Jazz Johnson added 15 points; Cody Martin seven points, five rebounds and five assists; Tre'Shawn Thurman had six points and six rebounds; and Trey Porter chipped in five points.
Nevada shot 47 percent from the field, including 8-of-22 3-pointers. The Wolf Pack made 28-of-35 free throws compared to Colorado State's 11-of-16. Nevada had only five turnovers, continuing a season-long streak of being frugal with giveaways.
The Wolf Pack built a 17-point first-half lead and led by 11 at intermission before Colorado State made some second-half runs against Nevada, cutting the deficit to three on multiple occasions. But Colorado State could never take a lead as Nevada (22-1, 9-1 MW) led wire-to-wire to record its eighth straight victory.
Colorado State (9-14, 4-6) had one of its best offensive games of the season, but it wasn't enough to pick up a win over a top-10 team that blew it out 100-60 at Lawlor Events Center last month. Nico Carvacho led Colorado State with 24 points and 17 rebounds. The Rams shot 56.9 percent from the field, including 5-of-16 3-pointers. The 17-point deficit from the free throw line turned out to be the difference.
The Wolf Pack returns to action at 3 p.m. Saturday at home against New Mexico, which handed the Wolf Pack its lone loss of the season in early January, a 27-point win in Albuquerque.
"It's a tough team, a big game on our schedule," Caroline said. "They got us by (27 last time), so we feel like we can get revenge."