Pack has plenty of fuel in tank for win over Seattle Pacific | NevadaAppeal.com

Pack has plenty of fuel in tank for win over Seattle Pacific

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Mo Charlo #2 Wolf Pack forward sets up for a dunk during the first half of game 3 against the Seattle Pacific Falcons at Lawlor Events Center on Tuesday.

RENO – Road-weary Nevada showed that it’s tank wasn’t quite empty.

The 20th-ranked Wolf Pack, who were knocked from the unbeaten ranks over the weekend by UCLA, took any frustrations out on Seattle Pacific, 83-57, Tuesday night before a crowd of 6,422 at Lawlor Events Center.

Nevada, 7-1, will take a break for finals. The Pack, who were on the road for five of their first six basketball games, continue their four-game homestand Dec. 21 against Georgia.

Nevada coach Mark Fox said the break comes at a good time.

“I was pleased with how we played the first half,” said Nevada coach Mark Fox, who watched his team build a 20-point lead by shooting 55 percent and playing solid defense. “I wasn’t wild about the second half. It’s a difficult situation with a 20-point lead. We defended fairly well. We executed a little better. I saw a lot of positives.

“Five out of six on the road; the emotions of those games. I was concerned about this game. We had a little bounce in our step because we were at home. Friday night will be our next practice. It gives them time to study and rest. It’s a couple days away from us and a couple of days away from each other.”

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It certainly was a nice way to go into a break. Nevada shot 53.3 from the floor, including 50 percent (6-12) from 3-point range. It enabled the Pack to build a substantial lead early in the game,

“They’re a good team,” Seattle Pacific coach Jeff Hironaka said. “We didn’t play very well. We had to shoot well to have a chance and obviously we didn’t do that (39.7). They executed very well, and because of their defensive pressure we weren’t able to execute.”

Nevada rolled to an early lead thanks to Mo Charlo, who carried the load in the early portion of the first half.

Charlo scored 13 first-half points of his team-high 18, knocked down 5 of 6 from the field, including both of his 3-point attempts. Charlo knocked down a trey from the left corner and then stole a ball and went the length of the court for a slam dunk. A trey by Kyle Shiloh, a layup by Marcelus Kemp and a layup by Nick Fazekas made it 12-4.

“I had the same approach I have for every game,” Charlo said when asked about his quick start. “The shots were falling. My teammates gave me the ball in the right spots.”

“He (Charlo) is much more confident,” Fox said. “He knows how we’re trying to play. I’m pleased with how he is playing offensively.”

Charlo’s quick start made it even more difficult for the Falcons, who came into the game unbeaten.

“When he hits the outside shot, we’re in trouble,” Hironaka said. “That means you have to get up into him. We don’t have anybody to match up with him (athletically).”

Seattle Pacific kept it an eight-point game for the next several minutes until Nevada went on a 12-4 run to take a 33-19 lead with 5:01 left in the half. Nick Fazekas, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, scored five straight points for a 28-15 lead, and after Tony Binetti took advantage of a defensive lapse for a layup, Charlo converted a nice three-point play. After the Falcons scored, Demarshay Johnson dropped in two straight buckets for a 35-19 lead.

Baskets by Chad Bell, David Ellis and Fazekas gave Nevada its biggest lead of the half, 41-21. Seattle Pacific was held scoreless the final 3 minutes 56 seconds of the half.

Seattle Pacific trimmed the lead to 47-32 with 16:08 remaining, but Nevada went on a 17-4 tear for a 64-36 lead, which would stand as the biggest lead of the night.

Ellis (6 points, 5 rebounds) scored from the right baseline, and then it was Kemp (10 points, 5 rebounds) and Charlo doing damage. Kemp scored in traffic, and then dunked one home after a Falcon turnover. On the next sequence, Kemp blocked a shot and then hustled to knock the ball off a SPU player. The possession ended with a Charlo basket and a 55-32 lead.

Charlo, who was 3 for 3 from 3-point range, knocked down his last trey of the game. Bell hit from the left of the lane to make it 60-32. After Seattle Pacific scored two straight baskets, Fazekas completed the barrage with two short-range shots.

None of the starters played over the final nine or 10 minutes, as Fox used his bench extensively. Nine players played at least 18 minutes, and a 10th, Seth Taylor, played 14 minutes.

“They have great balance,” Hironaka said. “Mark (Fox) does a good job of getting the ball to people in the right spots for people to score. They were effective scoring.”

n Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281