Fazekas: Nevada's man in the plastic mask

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Nick Fazekas wore a hockey-type mask to protect his broken nose, and said he would probably wear it the rest of the season.

"I think I'm getting used to it," Fazekas said after scoring 28 points and grabbing eight rebounds in Nevada's 73-69 win over San Jose State Saturday at The Events Center.

"The Hawai'i game, I was worried about wearing it. You will probably see me wear it the rest of the season."

Fazekas was accidentally hit in the head by San Jose State's Michael McFadden, but the blow didn't do any damage.

"It hit the top of the mask, and it kind of came down on me," Fazekas said. "I didn't feel any pain on my face."

THEY LIKE NICK

There were eight NBA scouts sitting courtside, and all of them were on hand to see Fazekas.

Among the scouts were Geoff Petrie, the Sacramento Kings' executive vice president, and Dave Twardzik, who played for many years in Portland, and now scouts for the Orlando Magic. Toronto, Sacramento and Orlando had two scouts apiece.

Scouts are not permitted to talk about underclassmen, or the franchise could face a $15,000 fine.

ALEX LIKES WOLF PACK

There is something about Nevada that brings out the best in San Jose State's Alex Elam.

Elam scored 17 in the first meeting against the Pack, and he tallied 13 in the first half en route to a 16-point afternoon.

The Pack did a better job defensively against him in the second half, holding him to three points.

"He's a good shooter," Fox said of the 6-foot-4 senior. "They are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the conference."

Elam hit four three-pointers, giving him 49 for the year and moving him into ninth all-time for single-season three-pointers.

Elam, despite being the team's second-leading scorer, had scored in double figures in just two of the previous nine games.

NO MORE JOHNSON

The San Jose Mercury-News reported earlier this week that San Jose State coach Phil Johnson would not return next season.

Johnson is 31-82 after four seasons. He will coach the team during the WAC Tournament, but he has not commented on his departure.

School officials would not comment, but senior forward Marquin Chandler said that Johnson is indeed leaving.

"He's leaving," Chandler said "Coach fought his butt off for us, and I thank him for that."

STAT TIME

San Jose State built an 11-point halftime lead, the first time it has led at halftime for the past six games ... Nevada, which outscored San Jose 48-33 in the second half, is now 6-2 when trailing after the first 20 minutes... Nevada is 6-1 when holding teams to 69 points or less ... The Pack improved to 8-3 when making less field goals than its opponent.

NO BROADCAST

According to reports, the game never made the airwaves because of technical problems, according to TV personnel at the game.

n Darrell Moody can be reached at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling 881-1281

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