Bengals win consolation game
RENO – If you live by the three-point shot, you are going to die by the outside shot.
That’s what Florida Atlantic found out Saturday night. The Owls fired in a season-high 15 three-pointers, but were outshot at the foul line 17-2 and dropped a 71-67 decision to Idaho State in the consolation game of the Dodge Holiday Classic at Lawlor Events Center.
The Bengals made a better effort in the second half to get the ball inside both in its half-court offense and in transition, outscoring the Owls 28-14 in the paint. The result was the huge advantage at the line, and that proved to be the difference in the game.
Idaho State coach Doug Oliver said defense played a big role in the Bengals’ fourth win of the season.
“The first half we had a little edge, and then (Pierre) Tucker came in and nailed those threes,” Oliver said. “We ran some junk (defenses). They are so much more athletic. They can get a shot anytime they wanted to. We wanted to get out after them and make them dribble.”
The game was tied at 45, 47, 50, 55 and 57 before the Bengals started to take control. Slim Millien had a tip-in and a bucket in the paint to make it 61-57 with 5:31 left in the game. A free throw by Kahleaf Watson and a dunk by Rodney Webb (8 points) cut the deficit to 61-60. Jeff Gardner nailed a three and Logan Kinghorn hit two foul shots, extending the lead to 66-60.
Two buckets by Mike Bell (20 points) sandwiched around a shot from the baseline by ISU’s Nate Rede cut the lead to 68-64. Florida Atlantic turned the ball over on its next two possessions, and Doug D’Amore converted the second mistake into a basket for a 70-64 lead with 34.6 left.
“The turnovers (were the key),” Florida Atlantic coach Sidney Green said. “We turned the ball over, particularly the last five minutes of the game when we were making our run.
“We got outscored 28-14 in the paint. We shot only four free throws and they had 24. You can’t win ballgames like that.”
Tucker led Florida Atlantic with 21 points, Bell added 20 and Quinton Young finished with 12. Millien led ISU with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and D’Amore added 13 and Kinghorn 11.
For the second straight night, Jermaine Washington had a productive game off the bench.
The 6-5 senior forward, who was demoted in favor of freshman David Ellis, scored 10 points, blocked four shots and grabbed five rebounds in his 25-minute stint.
“It’s a role he’s comfortable with,” Fox said. “Like everyone else, including the coaches, we all have new roles. I hope he’s competing to do so (start again).”
IN A ZONE
Nevada played quite a bit of 2-3 zone defense, and first-year head coach Mark Fox said he was using it as a test.
“We needed to play some (zone),” he said. “We wanted to play zone against a team that had a couple of shooters that could execute. It was a good thing for us to get better in our zone. We’ll look at the tape what we did well and what we didn’t do.”
The Wolf Pack game against UTEP originally scheduled for Jan. 13 has been moved to Jan. 12 at 7:05 p.m. to accommodate ESPN2.
Kevinn Pinkney scored 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to record his seventh double-double of his career. He also had three assists and blocked a shot.