Wolf Pack Notebook: Fields starting to heat up | NevadaAppeal.com
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Wolf Pack Notebook: Fields starting to heat up

BY DARRELL MOODY

Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

RENO ” If the Nevada basketball team is going to have a lot of success this season, Brandon Fields needs to get his game back to the form he showed last year when he averaged 12 points a game overall and 14 in conference play.

Slowed by off-court problems which forced him to miss plenty of practice time and the first two nonconference games, Fields appears to be on his way back after scoring eight points in Nevada’s 62-48 win over Southern Illinois Sunday at Lawlor Events Center.

Fields went 3-for-4 from the floor, including a 3-pointer. He is 7-for-12 in his last two games and has brought his average up to 5.8 points per game.

“I’m feeling a lot better and I’m shooting better,” Fields said. “I’m focusing on the little things in practice and that’s carrying over to the game.”

LENGTH HELPS INSIDE

Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery said he was concerned about Nevada’s length coming into the game.

Nevada had five blocked shots, including two by freshman Dario Hunt. The inside pressure forced Southern Illinois’ Tony Boyle into a 3-for-9 performance from the field.

“Nevada has good shot blockers,” Boyle said. “I should have done things differently. It was definitely hard and I had to battle through.”

HIT THE DECK

Sophomore point guard Armon Johnson took an elbow from SIU center Nick Evans and had to leave the game for several minutes. Johnson was down for several seconds.

Fox said that trainer Shelly Germann told him that Johnson had a cut on his eye.

“I didn’t see it happen,” Fox said. “I’m assuming it was from an elbow, but I don’t know for sure.”

BAD START

Nevada freshman London Giles had a rocky start on Sunday.

Giles came into the game with 9 minutes, 1 l seconds left in the game and immediately had the ball stripped by Bryan Mullins, who turned the theft into a three-point play which gave the SIU a 15-14 lead.

Giles was held to just three minutes of action, partially because of the early mistake, but also because Johnson was able to shake off an injury to his eye and was fresh in the second half.

DEADLY AT LINE

Nevada made 21-of-24 from the line for a season-best 87.5 percent. That performance comes on the heels of an 87.1 effort against Sonoma State earlier this week.

“We’re a good shooting team,” Fox said. “We have not shot well from the field or the 3-point line yet. That’s something we’ve been consistent in. It cost us one game (against Portland). We have a lot of kids that can shoot the ball.”

AROUND THE WAC

In games involving Western Athletic Conference teams on Sunday, Fresno State lost to Montana 69-65 and New Mexico State downed UTEP 90-78.

Only five teams have winning nonconference records thus far ” Utah State (6-1), Boise State (6-3), Hawaii (4-3), Nevada (5-4) and Louisiana Tech (5-4).

ETC…

Nevada lost the rebounding battle 35-30. It was the fourth time the Pack has been outrebounded this season … Neither team took good care of the ball. Nevada had 14 turnovers against eight assists, while Southern Illinois had 18 turnovers against nine assists … The loss kept Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery at 99 career wins … The game officials were J.D. Collins, Rick Hartzell and John Higgins. The latter worked Nevada’s NCAA Tournament game against Illinois back in 2005.

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