It's crowded at the top for Nevada

RENO - Nevada has sold out games before this year, and there were always plenty of no-shows.

Not Saturday night. Only 74 tickets went unused, and the crowd of 11,462 was the biggest of the season.

"Our crowd was terrific," Nevada coach Mark Fox said after the Wolf Pack's 69-65 win over New Mexico State. "It's what this experience should be about. The crowd fought for our kids and it made my day."

Approximately 10 students camped out overnight according to writers from the Nevada Sagebrush, Nevada's student newspaper, and there were several hundred that waited near the entrance for several hours Saturday afternoon.

Fox said he visited with the students and even brought them some pizza.

Fox talked to the rooting section before the game, and asked them to remove one of their signs.

AN EMOTIONAL TIME

Nevada played a short video to honor seniors Nick Fazekas, Kyle Shiloh and Denis Ikovlev prior to the game.

All three players were accompanied by their parents, and the brothers of Fazekas and Ikovlev also were present. The applause was loud and long for all three.

"It means a lot," Fazekas said. "My family didn't get to watch me a lot in college so it was a special moment for me."

"It felt good," Shiloh said. "They (parents Pat and Ken) have always supported me."

Shiloh and Fazekas now have been a part of 104 Nevada wins, the most in school history.

Shiloh finished with seven points and five assists, Ikovlev scored two points and pulled down three rebounds and Fazekas finished with 22 points and nine rebounds.

SEEDINGS SET

The pairings have been finalized for next week's WAC Championships in Las Cruces.

The action kicks off Tuesday when San Jose State, the eighth seed, will play Idaho, the ninth seed, at 7:30 p.m.

Nevada will face the winner of that game in Thursday's opener at 11 a.m. At 1:30 p.m., Utah State, the fourth seed, faces fifth-seeded Hawai'i. At 5 p.m., third-seeded Fresno State plays sixth-seeded Boise State, and second-seeded New Mexico State faces seventh-seeded Louisiana Tech.

TOUGH GAME FOR SESSIONS

Senior Night is an emotional time, and Nevada coach Mark Fox said junior point guard Ramon Sessions was much too emotional, especially in the first half.

Sessions was 0-for-4 from the floor and turned the ball over seven times. He did grab nine rebounds, however.

Sessions finished with 10 rebounds, 10 turnovers and only one assist. He finished with just two points.

POST-GAME INCIDENT

Fox and NMSU coach Reggie Theus were jawing at each other at the end of the game.

Apparently, Theus tried to shake Kyle Shiloh's hand after the game, and according to bystanders, Shiloh didn't shake Theus' hand. Theus told Fox about the slight.

"He was disappointed one of our guys didn't shake his hand, and our kid was wrong," Fox said. "I have a lot of respect for Reggie."

NOTABLES

Nevada was out-rebounded 41-39 by the Aggies, the fifth time this season Nevada has lost the battle of the boards. Nevada gave up 14 offensive rebounds. New Mexico State also out-rebounded Nevada in the first game in Las Cruces ... Fox was unhappy with the play of his bench. The group produced four points, one assist, one blocked shot and eight rebounds... Nevada now has 27 wins, one shy of tying the school record.

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

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