Thursday , Dec , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Wolf Pack and Black Bears meet in Reno

Reno, NV (Sports Network) – The 24th-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack continues to
pile up the victories, and it is heavily favored tonight against the Maine
Black Bears in non-conference action.

Maine has lost two of its last three games to fall to 5-6 overall. The
Black Bears were most recently in action on Saturday when they were
completely dominated from start to finish by Penn State in a 75-42 setback.
They have yet to score a win over a quality opponent this season.

Nevada, meanwhile, has only lost one game this entire season — a nine-point
decision to UNLV. Since that setback, the Wolf Pack has recorded the
consecutive triumphs, including a 73-71 decision over Akron on Friday that
snapped the Zips’ 21-game home winning streak.

This game marks the first-ever meeting on the hardwood between Maine and

Maine does not have the type of player on its roster that is capable of
dominating a game at the offensive end. Sure, there are three double-digit
scorers in the fold, but all three are netting fewer than 12 points per
contest. Kevin Reed leads the club with 11.7 ppg, but his 33.8 percent
shooting from the floor leaves much to be desired. Jon Sheets adds 11.6 ppg to
the mix, and Junior Bernal is contributing 11.3 ppg. The Black Bears are
posting a modest 66.3 ppg this season, but they are limiting opponents to 64.4
ppg. Against Penn State, Sheets was the only player to reach double figures
for Maine with 10 points, but he was just 3-of-14 from the field. The Black
Bears turned the ball over 18 times and connected on a mere 25 percent of
their field goal attempts, including 4-of-22 from three-point range.

While Maine does not have a go-to guy on its roster, Nevada possesses one of
the finest frontcourt players in the nation in Nick Fazekas. The standout
forward is racking up 20.9 ppg on 57.9 percent shooting from the field, and he
is pulling down 12.6 rpg as well. Marcellus Kemp adds 17.5 ppg to the mix on
47.5 percent accuracy from three-point range, and Ramon Sessions is posting
13.0 ppg. Strong rebounding has been key to Nevada’s success this season, as
the club is ripping down 8.8 rpg more than its foes. The Wolf Pack is scoring
74.9 ppg on 48.4 percent efficiency from the field, including a stellar 43.1
percent from three-point range. Defensively, the club is limiting opponents to
62.8 ppg on 39.4 percent shooting from the floor. In the narrow win over
Akron, Fazekas was outstanding as usual with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Sessions pitched in 22 points, and Kemp managed 12 points. A 51 percent
shooting effort from the field and 18-of-21 effort from the foul line fueled
the victory.