The Nevada Wolf Pack had come out on top the last eight times they met the Broncos, but this time was different: the Broncos won 73-64.
The atmosphere was electric in ExtraMile Arena when the Broncos started the game with an 8-0 run over the Wolf Pack.
Redshirt junior guard Derrick Alston had a fastbreak, resulting in a layup to bring the Broncos’ total up to 19-6. Alston motioned to the crowd to get loud and they obliged. The arena was louder than usual with the Broncos on a three-game win streak in the Mountain West.
Eight different Broncos scored in the first half. Leading the way was Alston with 10 points. The Broncos were able to hold a comfortable lead for the majority of the first half, but late in the half, Nevada started heating up bringing the score to 36-21.
The Wolf Pack entered the court again ready to fight, quickly bringing the game within five with just under 12 minutes to go. Nevada’s Jalen Harris accounted for 14 points in a short eight minutes.
The Broncos stole back the momentum after Alston had two big plays, including an and-one. The Broncos used the change in tempo to move ahead by 12. From this point on, the Broncos held a solid lead.
“I think we just stayed solid,” Alston said. “We knew they were gonna make a run. They’re a really good offensive team and we just stuck together and got some really good shots. I think our defense really helped us out, and we were able to finish the game.”
With four minutes and 13 seconds to go, senior guard Justinian Jessup hit his second triple of the game, bringing his career total to 296 — good to tie Jimmer Fredette as the Mountain West all-time leader. Jessup ended the night with 17 points, four rebounds and one assist.
“I mean, not to sound selfish, but I really wish I could have gotten [the record]here in front of the amazing fans,” Jessup said.
Whenever Jessup would get in position to shoot a 3-pointer, the crowd would erupt; the entire arena seemed to know he was close to the record. Jessup was aware of the crowd’s reactions.
“Some dude right behind me was like,‘This is the one,’ and I was like, ‘Oh,’ and I missed it. You can definitely feel it,” Jessup said.
Alston led the game with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists. This win extends the Broncos’ win streak to four in Mountain West play — their longest streak since the 2014-15 season. The Broncos are currently tied for second place in the Mountain West
“[This team] is unselfish, they have great chemistry, they all care about each other and different guys on different nights save our bacon,” said head coach Leon Rice. “It’s just a lot of fun to go to work every day and get to be with guys like this and a team like this, and absolutely that means a lot for them, for me, for them having success because I want it bad for them.”
On Feb. 4, the Broncos are back on the road to take on the Wyoming Cowboys in Laramie, Wyo.