Fox not concerned about play of centers
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Nevada coach Mark Fox didn’t seem too disturbed by the fact that his trio of centers – David Ellis, Demarshay Johnson and Chad Bell – combined for only nine points and four rebounds in Nevada’s 70-44 victory over Idaho Thursday night at Lawlor Events Center.
Bell scored four points and grabbed a rebound, Ellis had a basket and free throw and Johnson converted a layup in the Pack’s big first-half surge.
“When a team plays a zone, the basket is surrounded the entire time,” Fox said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities for the centers. If you catch the ball, five guys will be around you. Between the three, we got some solid minutes.”
Still, it would be nice to see a little more dominance defensively from the group.
FAZEKAS PASSES SNYDER
With his 15-point effort, Nick Fazekas moved ahead of Kirk Snyder and into seventh place on the all-time scoring list.
Fazekas has 1,410 points after 81 games. Snyder scored 1,404 in 84 contests. Fazekas needs 95 more points to pass Darryl Owens (1986-89) and move into sixth place.
Earlier this year, Fazekas passed another former teammate, Garry-Hill Thomas, who is ninth all-time with 1,340.
Fazekas, who also had 10 rebounds, has six double-doubles this year and 29 in his career.
Ramon Sessions, bothered by a hip flexor injury earlier this year, continues to make strides.
Sessions scored eight points, dished out six assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
Sessions is averaging 5.3 assists per game in his last three outings and five rebounds a game.
“Physically he’s 100 percent,” Fox said. “He’s gotten better.”
He scored twice on layups and twice on mid-range jump shots. If he continues to improve from the outside, it will make the Pack much more dangerous. TEAMWORK EVIDENT
One area where Nevada excelled was sharing the ball. Nevada had a season-best 24 assists on its 29 baskets.
Sessions finished with six assists and Fazekas had a career-high five.
Nevada’s previous best for assists was 23 against Seattle Pacific back on DEC. 13.
WHO WOULD WIN?
Idaho coach Leonard Perry was asked who would win a Nevada-Louisiana Tech matchup, and as expected, he dodged the question.
“Paul Millsap is an animal,” Perry said. “I don’t mean that in a negative way. He’s an unbelievable rebounder. It would be a good game; a fun game to watch.”
In the past, Kevinn Pinkney had success in neutralizing Millsap, but the Pack don’t have that kind of defensive presence this year, which could make things interesting.
AROUND THE WAC
Louisiana Tech is atop the WAC at 3-0 after edging previously unbeaten Hawai’i (2-1) 65-62. Utah State (2-2) edged Boise State (1-2) 75-69 and New Mexico State (2-1) nipped Fresno State (1-1) 73-70.
FACTS & FIGURES
Seth Taylor played the final eight minutes of the game, his first action since he played four minutes in the 56-46 win over Norfolk State back on Dec. 27. It was his longest outing since he played 14 minutes in the win over Seattle Pacific … The eight turnovers tied a season low set against UC Davis in a 27-point win … Nevada is 7-0 at home this year and 35-4 at Lawlor since the 2003-04 season. The Pack have won more than 70 percent of their games at Lawlor since the arena opened in 1983-84 … In its last 11 games, Nevada is 65 for 168 from 3-point range (38 percent), which is nearly 10 percent better than it shot all of last year … The Lawlor Faithful started chanting for Virginia City’s Curry Lynch with about four-plus minutes left in the game. He played the final two minutes, but threw up a 3-point shot after Fox told the team he didn’t want any more shots taken … Nevada is 6-0 when holding opponents under 60 points. This was the third time Nevada had held the opposition to under 55 points.