Wolf Pack knows the way to San Jose

NEVADA (23-5, 15-2) at SAN JOSE STATE (6-21, 3-14)

When: Today, 2 p.m.

Where: The Events Center, San Jose Calif.

TV: Charter Cable Channel 15

Radio: ESPN Radio 630AM, pre-game at 1:30 p.m.

Coaches: Nevada's Mark Fox (23-5) is in his first season; San Jose State's Phil Johnson (33-64) in his his 4th season.

Probable starters: Nevada: F Nick Fazekas 21.2, F Jermaine Washington 6.0, C Kevinn Pinkney 12.6, G Ramon Sessions 9.1, G Kyle Shiloh 5.1. San Jose State: F Marquin Chandler 19.6, F Alex Elam 9.8, C Matt Misko 6.0, G Eric Bloom 8.4, G Michael McFadden 7.0.

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Armed with a perfect 8-0 Western Athletic Conference road record, Nevada will attempt to become the first school since Utah in 1998-99 to go undefeated away from home this afternoon when it visits last-place San Jose State.

Nevada comes in having clinched its first outright conference title since coach Sonny Allen's team in the 1984-85 season. A year ago, Nevada and UTEP tied for the regular-season conference crown. The 25 wins is the Wolf Pack's best regular-season mark since the 1945-46 season.

Nevada (15-2, 23-5) is on a nine-game winning streak and would like nothing more than to get that ninth straight road win. Every win helps the Pack increase their seeding for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

"It is an amazing feat (the road wins)," San Jose State coach Phil Johnson said. "I give Mark Fox a lot of credit. He came in and knew this team. He knew about their strengths, and he put an offense in, and the kids execute well."

Nevada, which leads the conference in defense, held Hawai'i to 20 of 68 from the floor, including 3 for 22 from beyond the three-point arc. Nevada is now 17-0 when it holds opponents under 60 points.

San Jose State (3-14, 6-21) may just be what the doctor ordered. The Spartans are in the middle of a nine-game losing streak, and points have been hard to come by. San Jose State has shot more than 40 percent just twice in the last seven games, and three times have been held to 50 or less points.

The Spartans are led by 6-foot-7 forward Marquin Chandler and 6-4 swingman Alex Elam. Chandler has struggled of late, and the Pack hope to keep him that way. Fresno State muscled Chandler, and severely limited his effectiveness on Thursday, holding him to 16 points.

"We haven't been scoring lately," Johnson said. "We've had moments where all five guys are on the same page and run the offense. Lately we've been depending on Marquin too much. The games we've played well, all five guys have scored in double figures."

Nevada struggled offensively against Hawai'i, twice going more than six minutes without a field goal against the Rainbow Warriors.

Nick Fazekas, wearing a clear mask to protect his broken nose, scored 20 points against Hawai'i. Kevinn Pinkney added 14. Mo Charlo played well offensively again, scoring eight points.

Pinkney missed the first San Jose State game with an injury. Charlo, who made his second career start in the first game against the Spartans, scored 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

PARITY IN THE WAC

While Nevada (first seed), UTEP (second seed), Rice (third seed) and San Jose State (10th seed) know where they stand for the upcoming WAC tournament, the fourth through ninth seedings are still up for grabs.

Let's take a look school-by-school going into today's final regular-season games:

Boise State (6-11, 13-16): If Boise beats UTEP, it will finish seventh. Boise will finish eighth if it loses to UTEP and Louisiana Tech beats Tulsa. Boise will finish ninth if it loses to UTEP and Tulsa beats Louisiana Tech.

Fresno State (9-8, 15-12): Fresno State will finish fourth if it beats Hawai'i, or Fresno State loses to Hawai'i and SMU beats Rice. Fresno State will finish fifth if it loses to Hawai'i and SMU beats Rice.

Hawai'i (6-11, 14-12): Hawai'i will finish seventh if it beats Fresno State and UTEP beats Boise State, or if it loses to Fresno State, UTEP beats Boise State and Louisiana Tech beats Tulsa. Hawai'i would finish eighth if it beats Fresno State and Boise State beats UTEP or if it loses to Fresno State, Boise State beats UTEP and Louisiana Tech beats Tulsa, or if it loses to Fresno State, Tulsa beats Louisiana Tech and UTEP beats Boise State. Hawai'i would finish ninth if it loses to Fresno State, Boise State beats UTEP and Tulsa beats Louisiana Tech.

Louisiana Tech (8-9, 13-14): The Bulldogs will finish fifth if they beat Tulsa and Rice beats SMU. Louisiana Tech will finish sixth if it loses to Tulsa or Louisiana Tech beats Tulsa and SMU beats Rice.

SMU (9-8, 14-12): SMU will finish fourth if it beats Rice and Hawai'i beats Fresno State. SMU will finish fifth if it beats Rice, Fresno State beats Hawai'i, or SMU loses to Rice and Tulsa beats Louisiana Tech. SMU will finish sixth if it loses to Rice and Louisiana Tech beats Tulsa.

Tulsa (5-12, 9-18): Tulsa finishes seventh if it beats Louisiana Tech, Fresno State beats Hawai'i and UTEP beats Boise State. Tulsa will finish eighth if it beats Louisiana tech, Hawai'i beats Fresno State and UTEP beats Boise State, or if Tulsa beats Louisiana Tech, Boise State beats UTEP and Hawai'i beats Fresno State, or if Tulsa loses to Louisiana Tech. Tulsa finishes ninth if it beats Louisiana Tech, Boise State beats UTEP and Hawai'i beats Fresno State, or if it loses to Louisiana Tech.

n Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-1281.

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