Cameron Oliver scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Nevada past Air Force, 78-59, Wednesday night in a Mountain West game in Clune Arena at the Academy.
Nevada closed the half with a 7-2 spurt to take a 41-28 halftime lead. The Falcons opened the second half with a 6-2 run to cut the lead to nine points, 43-34, with 17:23 remaining, but the Wolf Pack build the lead back to double figures and controlled the game the rest of the way. The closest Air Force got after that was 12 points three times, the last coming with 6:50 remaining, 65-43. Nevada led by as many as 20 points on several occasions, the last coming with 3:00 minutes remaining, 75-55.
Nevada shot 52 percent from the field, including 54.2 percent from 3-point territory. Oliver led the way, hitting nine of 12 field goals. The Wolf Pack out-rebounded Air Force, 42-22, and had 19 assists on 26 made field goals. D.J. Fenner added 15 points and four assists. Jordan Caroline added 10 points and eight rebounds while Marcus Marshall chipped in with 10 points and a team-best five assists.
Air Force was led by freshman Sid Tomes, who scored a career-high 18 points in a career-best 28 minutes. Hayden Graham added 14 points and four rebounds, but was hampered with foul trouble and played just 21 minutes. Air Force shot just 39.3 percent from the field, including 26.7 percent from three on eight-of-30 shooting.
“We played a lot of guys and played some younger guys. Some were positive minutes and some were not. It was good to see those guys get a chance,” Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich said. “Their size bothered us, you could see that. We had some open shots, but we took 30 threes and that’s not what we want. We settled for the three because it was easy instead of getting backdoors and drives. That comes with some inexperience. Nevada is a good team especially when they get those numbers from Cameron Oliver.”
Air Force falls to 10-16 overall and 3-10 in conference play. Nevada improves to a Mountain West-best 20-6 overall and 9-4 in the conference.