Fazekas strong offensively

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Despite an ankle that he knows isn't 100 percent, Nick Fazekas enjoyed his second consecutive good offensive game.

Fazekas scored 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting. He had 20 points his first game back on Thursday against Fresno State.

"I'm not quite 100 percent," Fazekas said. "It shows when I'm out there. I'll get home and get some more treatment in the next couple of days."

Aggies' guard Fred Peete said that stopping Fazekas isn't possible. He said they wanted him to work hard for everything.

"He's going to score," Peete said. "We try to push him off the block when he is down low, and try to get a hand in his face."

With 7-foot Martin Iti and 6-10 Hatila Passos, the Aggies certainly have the length to do that.

BURLESON OUT

Nevada's rotation was affected by the absence of reserve guard Lyndale Burleson, who has the flu.

Burleson, known more for his defense, is usually the first guard off the bench to replace Kyle Shiloh or Ramon Sessions. Burleson, who plays about 15 minutes a game, is averaging nearly three assists a game.

"It takes our quickest guard out of there," Nevada coach Mark Fox said. "That's not an excuse."

Considering Nevada's defensive effort wasn't the best, Burleson was missed, especially for his defense and ball-handling skills.

SHILOH MOVES UP

Senior guard Kyle Shiloh had four steals, moving him into seventh all-time with 120.

Shiloh passed Paul Culbertson, who has 117. Ethan O'Brien had 140 steals in his career, and Shiloh has a good chance to pass him before the season ends.

RUDE WELCOME

Nevada's players and coaching staff had to walk past a rowdy group of New Mexico State students to reach the dressing rooms in the renovated Pan American Center before the game and at halftime.

It didn't get any better during the game, as the Aggies' student section exhibited its usual crass behavior.

"Nice shot (expletive)," was shouted every time a Nevada player hit a free throw.

Reggie Theus, New Mexico State's coach, said the crowd certainly energized his team.

"When was the last time you saw fans line up 90 minutes before a game?" Theus asked during his post-game press conference.

Several thousand Aggie fans had white flags, and many fans wore "Reggie Nation" white T-shirts.

Theus has taken this town by storm, and could probably win any sort of political race were he so inclined.

AROUND THE WAC

San Jose State played another strong game at home, but still dropped a 57-56 decision to Utah State, which improved to 4-2.

Elsewhere, Louisiana Tech also improved to 4-2 with a 73-72 victory over Idaho. Boise State evened its record at 3-3 with a 73-62 win over struggling Hawai'i, which dropped to 1-5.

NOTABLES

The Aggies had lost three straight to Nevada, twice during the regular season and once in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament before last night. NMSU has won nine of 10 games played in Las Cruces ... Nevada had its 15-game WAC winning streak erased...New Mexico State has won 15 straight at home ... This was the Aggies' first win against a ranked opponent since they defeated No. 12 New Mexico on Jan. 19, 1999.

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

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