CHICAGO (AP) — Caleb Martin had 21 points, twin brother Cody Martin scored 20 and No. 5 Nevada beat Loyola-Chicago 79-65 on Tuesday night in an NCAA Tournament rematch.
Loyola beat Nevada by one point in the NCAA South Regional semifinals last season — the only other meeting between these programs. That victory came during a stunning Final Four run for the Ramblers.
Caleb Martin scored 17 in the first half, helping the Wolf Pack (7-0) grab a 44-28 lead. The preseason All-American shot 8 of 13 in the game, including 3 for 6 on 3-pointers.
Cody Martin was 9 of 14 with seven assists.
Jordan Caroline had 15 points and six rebounds. Trey Porter added 14 points and 10 boards.
Marques Townes — who hit the decisive 3 in the closing seconds of that NCAA game — led Loyola (4-3) with a season-high 24 points, but the Ramblers dropped their second straight game.
Loyola great Jerry Harkness presented a Final Four ring to Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt — the now 99-year-old nun and team chaplain who charmed the nation during last season’s run — prior to the game. Nevada then did its best to put this one away in the early going.
With the Martins leading the way, the Wolf Pack shot 62.5 percent while building their 44-28 halftime lead.
They led 29-9 midway through the first half after a layup by Cody Martin. He also hit a 3 with 5:22 left to make it 38-18 before Loyola cut it to 12 in the closing minutes. The Ramblers’ Clayton Custer missed a 3 that would have made it a nine-point game. Caleb Martin hit a runner and Porter scored on a layup to get it back up to 16 with 14 seconds left in the half.
Nevada: With its strength and quickness, Nevada dominated inside and on the perimeter, particularly in the early going. That led to another convincing victory for the Wolf Pack, who have won each game by at least 10 points.
Loyola: Though they have three starters back, the Ramblers are already halfway to last season’s loss total.
Nevada: Visits USC on Saturday.
Loyola: Visits UIC on Saturday.