Nevada and Kansas State will put their unblemished records on the line Tuesday night in the semifinals of the Cayman Islands Classic in George Town, Cayman Islands.
The Wolf Pack (5-0) handed Tulane its first loss of the season with a 75-66 decision on Monday evening. The Wildcats (4-0) followed that with a 77-57 victory over Rhode Island.
Kansas State never trailed against the Rams, racing to a 17-point lead at halftime before cruising through the second half.
Nae’Qwan Tomlin scored 15 points, Keyontae Johnson 14 and David N’Guessan 12 for Kansas State. It was the first time this season that Johnson was not the Wildcats’ leading scorer.
Markquis Nowell had 12 assists to go along with nine points.
“They wanted to play fast,” Kansas State coach Jerome Tang said following the game. “I just felt we were faster. We wanted it to be an up-and-down game. (Markquis) did a great job of reading the defense and delivering the ball on time on target.”
The Wildcats will look to play a cleaner game. They committed 21 turnovers against Rhode Island.
The Wolf Pack attempted 38 free throws overall against Tulane and made 7 of 13 shots from 3-point range in the second half to pull away. Nevada trailed at the half 32-29 after connecting on just 20 percent from the field in the first half.
Jarod Lucas had 22 points for the Wolf Pack and Tre Coleman added 13, highlighted by four made 3-pointers. Kenan Blackshear had 11 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
The Wolf Pack defense has held its first five opponents to 38 percent shooting or worse from the field.
“I’m really proud of our guys, how they battled,” Nevada coach Steve Alford said. “You can’t win this thing unless you win the first one.”
Nevada was down to eight scholarship players Monday. Daniel Foster did not play after sustaining an ankle injury last Friday. Center K.J. Hymes hurt his back during pre-game warmups.
“That’s not what you want to hear in warmups, as a coach, that you’re down a big,” Alford said, “because we’re already down enough bodies.”
–Field Level Media