Nevada rallies twice to win thriller over Texas
Nashville, Tenn. — Nevada’s Caleb Martin had just missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer and didn’t feel all that disappointed.
The junior forward just knew his team would finish the job in overtime.
And then he helped make it happen.
Martin shot 3 of 3 from 3-point range in overtime and finished with 18 points Friday as Nevada rallied to beat Texas 87-83 for its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2007.
“We were comfortable,” Martin said. “It’s one of those things where you could tell the other team didn’t want to go into overtime with us. You could kind of feel the energy on the floor when we walked back out there. You kind of knew it was kind of in our favor.”
The Wolf Pack, seeded seventh in the South Region, advanced to a Sunday matchup with No. 2 seed Cincinnati (31-4). The Bearcats beat Georgia State 68-53.
Nevada (28-7) erased a 14-point, second-half deficit and rallied again after trailing Texas by four early in an overtime session that featured a combined 34 points. Nevada made all six of its field-goal attempts in overtime after Texas forward Mohamed Bamba fouled out with 3.8 seconds left in regulation.
These two teams with contrasting styles provided the kind of thriller that had excitable Nevada coach Bill Musselman particularly amped up. Musselman opened his postgame press conference with an apology after television cameras caught him shouting obscenities during a locker-room celebration.
“What an unbelievable game,” Musselman said.
Martin’s 3-pointer with 2:26 left in overtime gave Nevada its first lead since opening the game on a 5-0 run. Texas’ Matt Coleman took a jumper that went around and out, and Martin hit another 3 that extended Nevada’s lead to 81-77 with 1:36 left.
After Coleman cut Nevada’s margin to 81-79, Martin passed to twin brother Cody for a layup that made it 83-79 with 53 seconds remaining. Tenth-seeded Texas later got within two on a 3-pointer by Kerwin Roach II with 15.5 seconds left, but that’s as close as the Longhorns got.
Roach had a career-high 26 points for Texas (19-15) and shot 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Coleman had a career-best 25 points.
Caleb Martin also had 10 rebounds and five assists. Cody Martin had 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Nevada’s Kendall Stephens had a team-high 22 points.
This was the kind of moment that brought the Martins to Nevada after the 6-foot-7 twins decided to transfer from North Carolina State.
“This is what we came here to do,” Cody Martin said. “This is what we wanted to do all year. When we got here, I knew we had something special with this team.”
They sure produced a special comeback.
Nevada rallied after Texas grabbed a 77-73 lead in overtime on a four-point play from Roach, who sank a 3-pointer while getting fouled.