Saturday , Feb , 24 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Nevada can clinch share of WAC crown with win at Boise State

Boise, ID (Sports Network) – Having recorded their fourth straight season
with at least 25 victories, the 11th-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack now set their
sights on clinching at least a share of their fourth consecutive Western
Athletic Conference regular season title tonight as they match up against
the Boise State Broncos at Taco Bell Arena.

Showing off the best winning percentage in the nation (.926), the Wolf Pack
have a two-game lead in the WAC standings over New Mexico State, having
already won 12 of 13 league battles. On Thursday night, Nevada easily took
care of the Idaho Vandals in an 82-68 decision in Moscow. The victory was
the eighth in a row for the program, which has lost to only NMSU and in-
state rival UNLV back in early December.

As for the Broncos, they enter the weekend with a league mark of 8-5, which has
the group tied with Utah State for third place with road meetings against
Fresno State and Hawaii still pending before the start of the conference
tournament in just over a week. Two nights ago BSU held off San Jose State
in an 83-64 decision for its fifth straight conquest.

With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the
hardwood, the Wolf Pack lead BSU by a count of 32-18, taking a spirited 90-86
decision in January to run their win streak against the Broncos to three in a
row.

Except for Denis Ikovlev who posted nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the
field, every starter for the Wolf Pack scored in double figures against Idaho
on Thursday night, beginning with Nick Fazekas who registered yet another
double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Ramon Sessions chipped in 15
points, six assists and four boards, followed by Marcelus Kemp and Kyle Shiloh
with 14 and 12 points, respectively, as the pair also combined for 10 rebounds
and six assists. Cruising out to a 16-2 lead at Memorial Gym, the Pack ended up
shooting a season-high 62 percent from the field overall. Fazekas, the two-time
WAC Player of the Year, is certainly a favorite to take home the trophy yet
again, even after injuring his ankle against these same Broncos in the first
meeting last month. Now second in the conference in scoring with 20.6 ppg,
Fazekas has scored in double figures in 55 straight games and has recorded 63
games with at least 20 points, which is tops among active players in the
nation. Still one of the nation’s leaders on the glass, Fazekas accounts for a
WAC-best 11.6 rpg, which is how the program is able to beat opponents on the
glass by more than seven rebounds per game at the moment.

More than just leading four players in double figures with his team-high 22
points, Eric Lane managed to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his career in
the win over San Jose State on Thursday night. Matt Nelson converted 5-of-8
shots from the floor as he recorded a double-double with 11 points and a team-
high 10 rebounds, while Reggie Larry tacked on 16 points, six rebounds and a
team-high five blocked shots. Playing only 20 minutes on the night, Coby Karl
came away with 12 points, six assists, five rebounds and three blocks as well
for the Broncos. Karl, one of the more versatile performers in the WAC these
days, leads the team with 15.1 ppg and 107 assists and is also clearing 4.3 rpg
which means defenders can’t sleep while they try to cover him because he’s all
over the floor all of the time. Nelson and Larry have formed a formidable
tandem on the inside with each of them averaging 13.6 ppg and clearing 8.9 and
8.3 rpg, respectively. Because of the duo’s efforts the Broncos are first in
the conference in rebounding with 39.2 boards per contest. Boise State trails
only Nevada and NMSU in scoring in the WAC, putting up 76.2 ppg which means the
squad is second in the WAC in scoring margin with a plus+6.6 ppg through 26
games.

BOISEST NEVADA