Wolf Pack basketball notebook: Fields returns from suspension
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
RENO ” Nevada suited up all three of its suspended players ” Brandon Fields Ahyaro Phillips and London Giles ” in Saturday’s 79-71 nonconference win over Oregon State at Lawlor Events Center.
The three players were cited for petty larceny on Oct. 15. The charges against Fields were subsequently dismissed. Fields was the only one of the trio who played. The 6-foot-3 guard played five minutes, scoring two points and turning the ball over two times.
“He (Fields) was a little rusty,” Fox said. “He missed significant practice time. He knew if he did certain things when it would end.”
Fox said his decision to keep the other two players on the bench was between the two players and himself.
COMEBACK FOR ARMON, BABBITT
Both Armon Johnson and Luke Babbitt, who had horrible games in the 65-51 loss to San Diego, bounced back nicely.
Johnson had a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 11 assists, while Babbitt tied his career high with 20 points and seven rebounds.
“They both played poorly the other night,” Fox said. “Armon was trying to do too much. We lost so much scoring from last year’s team. I’ve been pretty hard on Armon. He played like a lead guard tonight. He can go from good to great. Luke was disappointed with himself. I told him to relax and let the game come to him.”
Babbitt had a nice line. Besides the 20 points and seven rebounds, he dished out two assists and had three steals.
“You always want to play well after a bad game like that,” Babbitt said. “We all bounced back. I tried to take the same approach.”
Nevada was slapped with a technical foul for having six players on the floor with 17 minutes, 36 seconds left in the game.
It appeared that Richie Phillips didn’t tell Lyndale Burleson that he was being replaced. The officials, after putting the ball in play, had no choice but to whistle the Pack for the infraction.
“The official said they might have put the ball in too quickly,” Fox said. “The players were still communicating with each other.”
UOP IS NEXT
Up next for Nevada is Pacific, a team that knocked off Nevada last season in Stockton and will play the Pack on Wednesday.
“Bob Thomason is a terrific coach,” Fox said. “He’ll have a team that is disciplined and will play well on both sides of the ball. It should test the inexperience of this team.”
Nevada has won its last six home openers. Nevada hasn’t lost a season-opening game since the 2002-03 season … Nevada has now won 38 of its last 42 games at Lawlor Events Center, including 13 of its last 15 … Nevada shot a season-best 45.8 percent from the floor and won the rebound battle 35-27 … The team also turned in a season-high 20 assists … Nevada had a 15-0 edge in fast-break points, which isn’t surprising considering Oregon State plays more of a half-court offense.
– Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or (775) 881-1281