Saturday , Mar , 03 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Wolf Pack and Aggies close out regular season in Reno

Reno, NV (Sports Network) – Coming off just their third loss of the 2006-07
campaign, the 10th-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack hit the floor for the final time
at the Lawlor Events Center tonight as they challenge the New Mexico State
Aggies in the regular-season finale for both programs before the start
of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament next week.

On Thursday night the Wolf Pack, who had already wrapped up the regular season
title and the top spot in the league tourney, went to overtime against an
upstart Utah State program in the last of a three-game road jaunt and lost
in Logan by a score of 79-77. The setback dropped Nevada to 13-2 in
conference, but that’s still better than NMSU which heads into tonight at
11-3 following its 79-64 defeat of Louisiana Tech at home on Thursday
night.

The Aggies, who will be hosting the conference tournament beginning
Tuesday, finished up the home slate at the Pan American Center with a 16-1
mark. Nevada came into this season having beaten the Aggies in three
straight meetings, yet still trailed in the all-time series by a count of
13-8.

In the first meeting of the season NMSU captured an 80-73 win at home in Las
Cruces to hand the Pack just their second loss of 2006-07 back on January
20th.

Justin Hawkins came off the bench for a change in the last home game of the
regular season for the Aggies, yet still matched Ted Knauber for the team high
with 16 points. Hawkins finished with six rebounds, while Knauber converted 4-
of-8 shots behind the three-point line, which was only slightly behind Elijah
Ingram who made good on 4-of-7 out on the perimeter en route to his 13 points.
Tyrone Nelson contributed another 11 points and five rebounds off the bench,
while David Fisher produced eight points and a team-high eight boards in just
17 minutes of action. Hawkins, who was being heralded early on as one who was
in the race for player of the year honors in the WAC, is still producing
decent numbers with team highs of 15.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg, but he’s just not up
to the caliber of Nevada’s Nick Fazekas. Nelson has bounced back nicely from a
slow start to post 10.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg, but the loss of Fred Peete to a
broken foot means the program will be asking someone to step up and take care
of his 10.6 ppg.

Marcelus Kemp, who tallied a game-high 25 points on Thursday night, had a
desperation shot at the buzzer fail to convert, which allowed Utah State to
defeat the Pack by a mere two points in overtime in Logan. Kemp finished the
night shooting 10-of-21 from the field and 5-of-12 behind the three-point
line, while Nick Fazekas rattled home yet another double-double with 20 points
and 10 boards as he made 7-of-17 shots from the floor. Ramon Sessions filled
up his stat line with nine points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals,
but he shot just 4-of-12 from the field and turned the ball over six times.
Shooting incredibly well from all over the court this season, Fazekas is one
of only 10 players in the nation averaging a double-double heading into the
weekend with his 20.9 ppg and 11.4 rpg, the latter placing him fourth in the
country. While Fazekas has been the star, Kemp has been the glue that has kept
the Pack together with his spirited play which has resulted in 17.7 ppg and
4.4 rpg. More than just a passer this season with his team-high 138 dishes,
Sessions is also the third-leading option on offense with his 13.2 ppg for
Nevada.

NEVADA NMEXICOST