Wolf Pack Notebook: Malik starts to ‘Cooke’ for Pack
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
RENO ” Nevada forward Malik Cooke made people take notice last season with his tireless work on the offensive glass.
The rest of his game is starting to catch up with his offensive rebounding, and he showed a little bit of everything when he scored a career-high 15 points in the Wolf Pack’s 68-63 win over Idaho State Saturday night at Lawlor Events Center.
Cooke had three putbacks for scores among his team-best five offensive rebounds and made his only 3-point attempt.
“I just wanted to do what the team needed,” said Cooke, who scored six of Nevada’s first eight points.
“He is playing more like Malik,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said. “He got off to a good start. He got to the offensive glass, which is something he does well but hadn’t been doing. It was good to see him get back.”
NOT A LOT OF ARMON
Nevada won without a lot of help from sophomore point guard Armon Johnson, who went 3-for-12 from the field, including 0-for-4 from beyond the 3-point arc.
All six of Johnson’s points came in the first half. The six points broke a six-game streak where he reached double figures, including a 33-point effort in the loss to California on Dec. 20.
A year ago, Nevada went to North Carolina and was handed a 106-70 loss by the then-No. 1 Tar Heels.
On Wednesday night, the undefeated and top-ranked Tar Heels come to town to play Nevada, and the Wolf Pack hopes it can make a much better showing than it did last year.
This is North Carolina’s second trip to Reno. In 1987-88, Nevada lost 115-91. North Carolina leads the series history 3-0.
“They are a terrific team, they have a great coach and great players at every position,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said.
“They are a great team,” forward Malik Cooke. “We’ll have to play perfect.”
The Wolf Pack won its fourth consecutive home game and won for the 17th time in 21 games at Lawlor Events Center. The team is now 78-11 at home since the start of the 2003-04 season… Freshman Luke Babbitt, who was 4-for-11 from the field, led the team in scoring for the sixth time this season with 16 points.
– Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or (775) 881-1281