Ikovlev makes strong debut
November 3, 2005
RENO – Dennis Ikovlev’s debut in a Nevada basketball uniform was a big hit.
Ikovlev poured in 12 points in 18 minutes to help Nevada to a 77-69 season-opening exhibition win over Rockhurst University Thursday night at Lawlor Events Center.
Ikovlev hit 2 for 5 from the floor, all from 3-point range. He knocked down all six of his free-throw attempts. If the first game is any indication, he has already won the hearts of Nevada fans if for no other reason than he can hit three-point shots.
“There were a lot more people than I’m used to (playing before),” Ikovlev said. “I wasn’t too nervous. I knew I had to play hard and look for my shots.”
Ikovlev’s first collegiate three-pointer came midway through the first half, snapping a 14-all tie and helping the Pack on an 18-5 run and a 31-19 lead. That basket gave the Pack a lead it would never relinquish.
“That (first one) felt great,” Ikovlev said. “I started looking for the next one.”
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Ikovlev’s second three-pointer came with 1:06 left in the half after Rockhurst had cut Nevada’s lead to 31-23. He added two free throws with 18.5 left to extend the lead back up to 11 before the Hawks scored in the waning seconds.
Ikovlev’s ability to hit the three-pointer is something Nevada struggled with last year. Nevada ranked next-to-last in the country, hitting less than 30 percent. It’s the main reason why coach Mark Fox brought him to Nevada. Nevada was 5-for-12 from 3-point range, a respectable 41.7 percent.
The Pack played without sophomore shooting guard Marcelus Kemp, who apparently missed an orientation meeting in August. The funny thing was that Fox didn’t say anything to the media during an interview session earlier in the week.
FACTS & FIGURES
The crowd was 2,576, which is usual for Nevada exhibition games … Besides Fazekas (22) and Ikovlev (12), there were no other Pack players in double figures. Lyndale Burleson finished with nine points and missed a chance to reach double figures with a poor 2-for-9 effort at the foul line. Sophomore center David Ellis finished with eight points … Charlo made a brilliant pass to Fazekas for a first-half basket. On one of Charlo’s two blocked shots, he actually got a finger or two stuck in the net … Nevada outscored Rockhurst 34-22 in the paint, had a 22-14 edge in points off turnovers and a 16-9 edge in second-chance points … Rockhurst had four players in double figures – Joey Deas (14), Jon-Erik Price (10), Aaron Hill (10) and Mike Day (10) … Chad Bell had a tough starting debut, scoring three points and grabbing five rebounds. He also had a turnover and a blocked shot. Fox said Bell didn’t get many offensive chances and was hurt by the constant lineup shuffling which goes on in exhibition games … Every Nevada player played at least 14 minutes except walk-on Curry Lynch, who got in for three minutes. Lynch scored one point and grabbed a rebound … Nevada officially opens the 2005-06 season on Nov. 19 when it hosts Sacramento State at 7:05 p.m. The Hornets finished fourth in the Big Sky Conference last year.