Wolf Pack Notebook: Rougeau gives Rebels a spark
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
RENO ” When Nevada basketball coach Mark Fox talked about UNLV on Friday, he talked about how experienced the Rebels were and how well the secondary players handled their roles.
One of the players he was talking about was senior Rene Rougeau, a former walk-on for the Rebels.
Rougeau tied his career high with 19 points and pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds to spark UNLV past Nevada 64-57 Saturday night at Lawlor Events Center.
Eleven of his points came in the second half when UNLV wiped out a 22-20 halftime deficit and used two big scoring runs to keep Nevada at bay.
“I just got back to playing my game,” Rougeau said. “I talked to my parents and coach (Lon Kruger) and they just want me to do all the little things that I can do. I just tried to take my time and the guys found me.”
Rougeau scored inside and outside, and Nevada had no answer for him.
“He’s not as well known (as others),” Kruger said. “Certainly his teammates know him. They love his passion and enthusiasm for the game. That’s the way he plays every day in practice.”
He keyed a 19-7 surge to open the second half with eight points. He also had a three-point play to cap a run that gave the Rebels an 11-point lead, 53-42.
UP AND DOWN
The Wolf Pack’s inconsistency on offense could cause Fox to get some gray hairs this year.
After shooting a season-best 51.7 percent against Colorado State, Nevada dipped to 34 percent on Saturday, one of its worst efforts of the young season.
That might give you an indication of the difference between UNLV’s defense and Colorado State’s defense.
AN ANGRY FOX
It’s surprising that Fox didn’t get a technical in the first half.
Tony Padilla called a charging foul on Armon Johnson which angered Fox. On the ensuing possession, the Nevada coach didn’t agree with a call under the basket.
Fox barked at Padilla and then flung his jacket behind him to the bench which drew a round of applause from the crowd.
Nevada fell to 1-2 at home so far this season, and has dropped back-to-back home games for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The team is now 74-11 at Lawlor Events Center since the start of the 2003-04 season and lost for just the fourth time in its last 17 home games… Armon Johnson led Nevada in scoring for the second straight game, tallying 21. He has 44 in is last two games … Malik Cooke paced the Wolf Pack and matched his career best with 10 rebounds. He also had six steals, which is a career best.
Nevada continues its four-game homestand on Tuesday with Sonoma State, a Division II school. The game will tip off at 7:05 p.m.
– Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or (775) 881-1281