McGee has a block - and a kick

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. - No doubt JaVale McGee thought he had recorded another blocked shot.

Instead, McGee was called for his third foul with 13 minutes 21 seconds left in the game. The bouncing ball came near him and he angrily kicked the ball approximately 20 rows deep into the stands, drawing a deserved technical foul.

As he went to the bench, Nevada coach Mark Fox placed a hand on each side of McGee's face and talked to him. There didn't appear to be any harsh words. Fox was trying to calm him down.

"Obviously he was frustrated," Fox said after Nevada's 62-60 loss at the Event Center Thursday night to San Jose State. "He's a great kid, a good student. I told him to relax and calm down. You have to be a little more poised.

"I don't know if it was a foul or not. I think he was frustrated from a call in the first half."

McGee was limited to just 22 minutes, and he didn't play for big stretches of time in both the first and second half. That's critical when you are talking about your second-leading scorer and top rebounder.

"The biggest thing is that it put him on the bench prematurely," SJSU coach George Nessman said. "Because it was his fourth, he (coach Fox) had to take him out. He was trying to protect him a lot down the stretch. That was a factor."

McGee did finish with 10 points (three below his average) and four rebounds (four below his average).

AH THOSE NEVADA FANS

The Wolf Pack fans wasted no time in razzing San Jose State freshman guard Justin Graham.

"Get a haircut," a Nevada fan yelled down at the floppy-haired Graham.

"Where's your skateboard," yelled another.

THE PAST HAS HELPED

San Jose State has played in a number of close games this year, and that obviously helped against Nevada.

Simply put, the Spartans didn't wilt under the pressure of Nevada's comeback in the last few minutes.

"Our kids have shown a lot of composure all year down the stretch of games," Nessman said. "We haven't really just gagged or choked or folded. We've had some games where teams have beaten us late in games, but it wasn't because we were screwing up. It was because of the good things they (the opponent) were doing.

"Confidence comes from success and repetition. When you have success doing something, you have more confidence the next time you do it."

AROUND THE WAC

New Mexico State remained unbeaten at 3-0 with a narrow 76-73 win over Boise State. Both teams had entered the game at 2-0.

In the only other game played, Idaho outlasted Louisiana Tech 85-78.

GOOD HALF

Center David Ellis, who scored a season-high eight points, scored seven in the first half, all in a seven-minute span.

"I just tried to contribute in the first half and do the best I could," Ellis said.

FACTS & FIGURES

Marcelus Kemp reached double figures for the 14th straight game, finishing with 13 points. His six field goals leaves him one shy of Darryl Owens for sixth place on Nevada's all-time list. Kemp now has 547 field goals ... This was the first game all season where McGee failed to block a shot ... This was Nevada's closest loss of the season. The Pack lost 63-60 to Central Florida in its season-opening game ... For the first time since the 2000-01 season, a San Jose State team is over the .500 mark after 15 games ... C.J. Webster of San Jose State has played 65 minutes in the last two games, both San Jose State wins. In the previous four SJSU games, he played a total of 74 minutes.

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