Nevada 74, Hawaii 63
RENO, Nev. (AP)—Brandon Fields and Luke Babbitt each scored 19 points as the Nevada Wolf Pack turned back the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Thursday night in a Western Athletic Conference game at Lawlor Events Center.
Nevada (12-7, 5-1), which now has won five games in a row, also got 12 points, 10 rebounds and four steals from Malik Cooke. The Wolf Pack have never lost to Hawaii in 12 games in Reno dating back to the 1946-1947 season.
Hawaii (9-9, 1-5), which has lost four games in a row, got 14 points from Kareem Nitoto, 12 from Roderick Flemings and 10 from Petras Balocka.
Nevada led the entire game but Hawaii pulled within 52-46 with just under eight minutes to play on a 3-pointer by Nitoto. Lasha Parghalava hit a 3-pointer to cut Nevada’s lead to 65-57 with three minutes to play.
But the Wolf Pack went up 65-52 with 3:45 to play on a jumper in the lane by Armon Johnson. Babbitt scored inside and hit a free throw for a 3-point play and a 68-57 lead with 2:32 to go. Fields threw down a dunk off a feed from Babbitt for a 70-59 lead with a minute to play.
Nevada, which led 37-20 at halftime, jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first two minutes as Babbitt hit a pair of 3-pointers on a short jumper. Hawaii turned the ball over four times in its first six possessions.
Johnson drained a 3-pointer and Cooke scored inside as Nevada built a 15-4 lead with 14:35 to go in the first half. Hawaii, though, cut Nevada’s lead to 19-13 after a jumper by Bill Amis with nine minutes to play in the half.
Ray Kraemer came off the bench for Nevada to score seven points in just three minutes. A 3-pointer by Kraemer gave Nevada a 37-18 lead with 1:45 to go in the half.
Hawaii shot just 30 percent (6-for-20) in the opening half and turned the ball over 14 times.
Nevada won’t play again until a game at Utah State on Jan. 29. Hawaii is back in action on Saturday when it hosts Utah State.