RENO -- Nevada's Kirk Snyder is making a strong case for Western Athletic Conference freshman of the year honors. Snyder scored a career-high 22 against Hawai'i, which came into the game first place in the WAC. Despite missing the Wolf Pack's entire non-conference schedule and two games because of a wrist injury, Snyder has scored in double figures in 14-of-15 games he's played in.
The 6-foot-6 guard from Upland, Calif., scored 21 in an 88-85 win over Fresno State and he's averaging over 14.0 ppg this season. Snyder says his success has been a direct benefit from his teammates.
"We have guys who can make plays," Snyder said. "I'm learning how to make plays, here and there. I'm just lucky, I guess."
JACKSON, PINKNEY NEARLY BREAK CAREER HIGHS
Wolf Pack senior forward Corey Jackson, the WAC's leading rebounder (11.1 rpg), nearly broke his own career mark of 18 rebounds set against Cal-State Northridge on Nov. 18. Jackson, a 6-foot-7 junior college transfer, finished with 17 boards against Hawai'i, including six in the opening four minutes. He will play his last game at Lawlor on Saturday against San Jose State.
"I'm looking forward to it, it's my last home game," said Jackson, who also scored 10 points against the Rainbow Warriors.
Freshman Kevinn Pinkney tied his career high, scoring 12 points against the Rainbow Warriors. The 6-foot-9 forward from Colton, Calif., also scored 12 against Rice.
Garry Hill-Thomas, Nevada's second leading scorer (16.2 ppg), was held to only nine points against Hawaii. It was only the seventh time all season Hill-Thomas didn't score in double figures. The Wolf Pack is now 3-4 when Hill-Thomas doesn't score in double figures.
With Thursday's win, the Wolf Pack is now 14-3 when leading at halftime and improved its record at Lawlor to 10-3. They are also 13-3 when scoring 70 or more points in a game. The 16 wins this season by Nevada is the most its had since the 1997-98 season, when it finished 16-12 under coach Pat Foster.