Thursday , Jan , 25 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Wolf Pack host Bulldogs in Reno

Reno, NV (Sports Network) – The 18th-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack try to
bounce back from their first Western Athletic Conference loss of the
season as they hit the floor of the Lawlor Events Center in Reno tonight
versus the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

Nevada, which opened the 2006-07 campaign with seven straight wins before
being halted by in-state rival UNLV, had won 10 games in a row prior to the
meeting with a resurgent New Mexico State program on Saturday. The clash in
Las Cruces resulted in an 80-73 win for the home team and also locked both
NMSU and Nevada in a first-place tie in the WAC standings at 5-1.

Just below the pair is Louisiana Tech with a mark of 4-2 in conference,
despite winning just two of 12 non-league outings early on. The Bulldogs
managed to post their second set of back-to-back wins this month on Saturday
when they slipped by Idaho on the road by a score of 73-72. Three nights
earlier, Tech had to go to overtime to stun New Mexico State by a basket,

With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the
hardwood, the Pack are now ahead by a count of 8-3 after dropping three of the
first four meetings with LaTech. Nevada has now run off seven straight
victories in the relationship thanks to a narrow 50-49 decision in Reno a
season ago.

Ahead by as many as seven points with under two and a half minutes to play,
the Bulldogs had to hold on for the one-point win against Idaho on Saturday
at the Cowan Spectrum. Trey McDowell, who was recently named the WAC
Player of the Week for the second time this season, finished with a team-
high 25 points, followed by Jerome Richardson and Chad McKenzie with 15
and 12 points, respectively, with both clearing eight rebounds as well.
McKenzie, who shot just 4-of-14 from the field, ended up fouling out, but
not before he posted three assists and three steals. Harry Disy came up a
point shy of a double-double as he grabbed 11 boards. McKenzie currently
leads the team in scoring overall this season with his 12.8 ppg, but
despite coming off the bench in eight of the 17 games in which he has
appeared, McDowell is now right on his tail with 12.6 ppg. However, McDowell
is far from a complete player because he has just 18 assists and is shooting
a mere 50 percent at the free-throw line for a team that is currently
converting only 63.9 percent at the stripe. Also working against the Bulldogs
is their 40.5 percent accuracy from the field and 30.2 percent shooting out on
the perimeter.

Back on the floor for the Wolf Pack in his second game after suffering an
ankle injury, Nick Fazekas got a first-hand look at why the Aggies were
expected to contend for the league title this season. Fazekas finished the
contest with 21 points and seven rebounds but also found himself on the bench
with foul trouble during key moments down the stretch. Ramon Sessions
tallied a team-high 23 points, followed by Marcelus Kemp with 14 and a team-
high eight boards in the setback as well. In previous years, Fazekas would
try to impress people with his outside shooting, but this season he has
opted to remain in the paint for the most part, resulting in team-highs of
20.4 ppg and 11.6 rpg, the latter placing among the nation’s best. Kemp,
who carried much of the load in the absence of Fazekas, checks in with
19.1 ppg and is shooting 42.1 percent from three-point range for a team
that is knocking down an impressive 41.9 ppg. Combine that with shooting
48.8 percent from the field overall, and holding opponents to just 40
percent, and the Pack are clearly one of the top teams in the nation.