Emotional night for Wolf Pack
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Senior Night tends to be an emotional experience for the home team, and Saturday night was no exception.
The Wolf Pack Faithful paid tribute to Nevada’s three seniors – Seth Taylor, Chad Bell and Mo Charlo – in a 10-minute pre-game ceremony prior to their game with Fresno State that included a brief message from coach Mark Fox and video clips showing the trio in action.
Taylor was accompanied by his parents and sister; Bell by his mother; and Charlo by his mother and sister.
Fox started all three of the seniors, and they played the first 1 1/2 minutes. The start was Taylor’s first in his four years in the program.
“We practiced that way during the week,” Fox said. “They got us off to a good start (4-1 lead). I wished I could have gotten them (the seniors) more minutes, but it was hard with the small lineup they played.
“Senior Night is such a tough night. Emotions are so high.”
Fox was referring more about Taylor and Bell. The former played a shade over 2 minutes total and Bell logged 11 minutes and scored one basket.
Charlo played 25 minutes, scoring three points, dishing out three assists and pulling down seven rebounds.
SHILOH SHINES ON “D”
Kyle Shiloh and Ja’Vance Coleman have been friends since their days playing AAU ball, yet when they face off with each other they play with a vengeance.
Shiloh, for the second time this year, got the better of Coleman, who was held to six points on 2-for-12 shooting. Coleman only had 11 on 3-for-9 shooting in the first meeting.
“I know he’s going to shoot a lot,” Shiloh said after the game. “He’s hard to guard. Basically I know everything he does.”
Shiloh, who played 35 minutes, bumped and pushed Coleman all night. Coleman wasn’t involved much in the scoring, and he was too quick to shoot when he got the ball in his hands.
“Shiloh is a good defender, and he got into him,” Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland said. “He (Coleman) never got into the flow of the game. That should never impact how hard you play.”
Apparently it did, because Coleman was benched for approximately the last six minutes of the contest.
AROUND THE WAC
Utah State claimed the No. 2 seed in the upcoming WAC Tournament by virtue of its narrow 61-58 win over San Jose State.
Those same teams will play again at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday in the 2-7 game.
Louisiana Tech is the third seed after upsetting Hawai’i 51-48 in Honolulu, handing the Rainbow Warriors their only conference home loss of the season. Tech will open the men’s portion of the tourney at noon against Boise State.
The loss dropped Hawai’i into the fourth spot. Hawai’i will take on dangerous New Mexico State, a team it beat 61-56 on March 2, at 8:30 p.m. following the Idaho-Nevada game.
Ex-Nevada great Kirk Snyder said that the Sweet 16 squad was mentally tougher than this year’s Pack team, and probably better.
That may have raised the ire of Nick Fazekas, who played on both squads.
“Each team creates its own legacy,” he said. “Each team does different things. We don’t score as much as the Sweet 16 team, but we defend better. Every team is different.”
Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland said that Nevada is the only team that doesn’t have to worry about making the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s safe to say Nevada is in the tournament,” Cleveland said after the 74-60 loss. “They are playing for a seed.”
Cleveland said that he’s impressed with Louisiana Tech, Hawai’i and Utah State.
“I believe they all could win games (in the tournament),” he said. “New Mexico State is not an easy team to play either.”
Cleveland said that four or five WAC team should get an opportunity to play in the post-season, whether it be the NCAA or NIT.
Utah State has the best at-large shot with a 20-7 record entering the WAC Tournament, but the Aggies will probably have to reach the finals to get into the NCAAs.
Tech, Hawai’i and New Mexico State will have to win the tournament to advance to the Big Dance.