<
>

Nevada overcomes sloppy night to move to 9-1

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- It was sloppy, even ugly, but Nevada coach
Mark Fox said he'll take the Wolf Pack's 56-46 win over
Norfolk State.

"Not all wins are pretty but the bottom line is it was a win.
That's the object of the game," Fox said as Nevada (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 20 AP) overcame
37.5 percent shooting from the field Tuesday night.

"You are not going to play pretty basketball every night. This
team has a lot of expectations, but we are not going to beat
everyone by 30 points. That is just not realistic," he said.

Marcelus Kemp scored eight of his game-high 15 points during a
key stretch in the second half and Nick Fazekas added 14 for the
Wolf Pack (9-1), who are off to their best start since 1978 and now are
33-4 at home over the last three seasons.

"You have nights like tonight. It's something you can't
control," said Fazekas, a 6-foot-11 junior who was held six points
below his average. "Basically you could describe it as sloppy."

Tynell Dunkley had a team-high nine points for Norfolk State
(2-9), which made only two of its first 21 shots from the field and
went without a field goal during a 14-minute stretch in the first
half.

Norfolk State coach Dwight Freeman said he was impressed with
Nevada despite the sloppy play. He likened them to other teams the
Spartans have lost to this year, including Ohio State, Wisconsin
and George Washington.

"They have a lot of weapons. The thing I like about this team
is they are very poised," Freeman said.

"They do a tremendous job of staying with what they do and
that's the mark of a good basketball team," he said.

Tony Murphy and Keith Young each had eight points for Norfolk
State, which has played 10 of its 11 games on the road. Murphy
entered the game averaging 16 points per game, but hit only 2-of-11
from the field for the Spartans, who shot 32.7 percent.

"We've got to have (Murphy) put the ball in the hole to have
some success," Freeman said. "We went about 12 minutes without
scoring in the first half. We missed a lot of shots we have to
make."

Nevertheless, he found some positives in the play of the
Spartans, who were outrebounded 41-38.

"We're going to play hard and we're going to defend you. We
were happy to hold Nick to 14 points, which not many teams are
going to be able to do because he's a big-time player," Freeman
said.

Mo Charlo and Kyle Shiloh each had seven rebounds and Ramon
Sessions seven assists for the Wolf Pack (9-1), who led 26-14 at
the end of the first half and went ahead 30-14 on Charlo's dunk
with 18:34 left in the game.

Young made consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 13-2 run for the
Spartans to cut the lead to 32-27 at 11:43. But Denis Ikovlev
responded with a 3-pointer and Kemp added two more and a layup over
the next 3 minutes to put Nevada ahead 44-30 at 8:26.

Murphy followed a 3-pointer with a pair of free throws after a
hard foul from Seth Taylor to pull to within 52-42 with 1:58 left.
But Dunkley was called for a technical foul on the play for
retaliating by pushing Taylor, who made two free throws then scored
off a rebound to make it 56-42 and seal the win with 51 seconds
left.

Neither team scored during a 5-minute stretch midway through the
ragged first half before Kemp hit a 3-pointer to cap an 18-2 run
that put Nevada ahead 21-6.

Larry Vickers followed with a 17-footer to end the Spartans'
10-minute scoreless drought 3:27 before the half to pull within
21-8.

"I didnt do a good job getting them ready to play. Thats on me.
Blame the old coach there," Fox said.

"The ball wouldn't go in for us. We didnt shoot the ball very
well. ... We got outhustled, plain and simple."