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Shiloh’s defense key to victory

DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer

RENO – Kyle Shiloh proved again that the coaches in the Western Athletic Conference slighted him when they left him off the all-defensive team recently.

Shiloh, who played 36 minutes, most of it against Utah State’s Jaycee Carroll, did another outstanding job on the Aggie sophomore. He got a little help from freshman Lyndale Burleson, and the duo held Carroll to 2-for-10 shooting and only four points.

That effort was a big reason why Nevada (27-5) knocked off Utah State 70-63 in overtime to win its second WAC post-season tournament in three years.

Carroll who averaged 16.7 entering the title game scored just 28 points in three games against Nevada, well under his average.

“I was so disappointed,” Fox said of Shiloh’s omission from the defensive squad. “He’s a terrific defender; he and Lyndale. Jaycee is a great offensive player.”

“Lyndale is so quick,” Nevada junior Nick Fazekas. “He’s really good on his feet. Kyle does what he has to do. He’s a great defender, probably one of the best I’ve seen. He’s a tough dude.”

MORRILL SPEAKS OUT

Utah State coach Stew Morrill was asked whether his 23-8 Aggie team should be invited to the NCAA Tournament, and he was quick to respond.

“If we don’t get a bid tomorrow we should pull ourselves out of this league and go back to the Big West,” he said. “There were supposed to be more bids in this conference. We came to this league for that very reason.

“As long as I’ve coached, I try not to be cynical. They try to find reasons not to let you in. Try to get games if you’re Utah State.”

Morrill had to play home-and-home with Oral Roberts and Middle Tennessee just to fill out his schedule. The Aggies beat Oral Roberts, which made the NCAA Tournament this season. And, lest we forget, the Aggies own a win over Nevada, which is ranked 21st, but could move up next week. The Aggies also beat Louisiana Tech three times this year.

Fox said Utah State deserves to be in the NCAA Tournament.

“I’d like to congratulate Utah State,” Fox said. “Without question they deserve to be in the NCAAs. I have a lot of respect for Utah State.”

Utah State was snubbed two years ago after tying UOP for the regular-season title with a 17-1 record. The Aggies were 25-4, but played a really bad schedule.

FIVE RECORDS SET

A total of five records – four team and one individual – were set during the women’s tournament this week.

Louisiana Tech’s Tasha Williams set a record for field goal percentage, knocking down 17-for-25 from the field (68 percent).

Nevada set a record for free throws made in a game. The Pack women made 30 of 33 in its first-round win over San Jose State. New Mexico State set a record for 3-pointers attempted. The Aggies made 21 of 67 in three games.

Tech now has the best field goal percentage defense for a half when New Mexico hit only 4 for 32 in the first half of the title game.

New Mexico State’s first-round upset of Fresno State was the third time a seven seed beat a second-seeded team.

ALL-TOURNAMENT PICKS

Nevada landed three players – MVP Nick Fazekas, Mo Charlo and Marcelus Kemp on the men’s all-tourney team. Utah State’s Nate Harris and Tech’s Paul Millsap also were chosen.

Tech’s Tasha Williams was MVP of the women’s tournament. New Mexico State’s Jenean Ford, Nevada’s Dellena Criner, Tech’s Shan Moore and Idaho’s Leilani Mitchell rounded out the squad.

COUP FOR SCHOOL PAPER

The Nevada Sagebrush, the student paper at Nevada, pulled a little coup over the daily papers in the area.

As the final seconds of the game were winding down, and as the students charged the floor, many of the fans were seen with newspapers. The headline at the top of the front page said “Champs” in big capital letters. The four-page paper was all photos depicting Nevada’s big night on the hardwoods.

Good work guys.