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Nevada 88, Akron 61

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- With three straight 20-win seasons, Nevada has
outgrown Bracket Buster weekend.

Nick Fazekas had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Kyle Shiloh added
a career-high 22 points to lead Nevada to an 88-61 win over Akron
on Friday night.

The Wolf Pack have won seven straight games and for the third
straight year they won a made-for-television Bracket Buster matchup
aimed at bolstering the profiles of mid-major teams.

"I would like to think our program has established itself
enough to not need an extra boost at this time of the year," said
Fox, whose team has played in the last two NCAA tournaments.

Mo Charlo scored 14 points and Ramon Sessions had eight points
and a career-high 13 assists for the Wolf Pack (20-5), who are in
first place in the Western Athletic Conference at 9-3.

Romeo Travis had 13 points, the only player in double figures
for the Mid-American Conference's Zips (19-6, 12-2), who had won 14
of 16 but suffered their most lopsided loss of the season.

"We didn't rebound very well, but we defended well, we shot
well and we shared the ball well," Fox said. "It's a quality win
for us.

"I would stack our non-league performance against anybody,"
added Fox, whose team has won on the road at Kansas, UNLV, Vermont
and Pacific.

Akron coach Keith Dambrot said ESPN should have passed on
putting Nevada in this year's Bracket Buster lineup.

"I don't think they should be in it," Dambrot said. "You
don't see Gonzaga in it. Didn't they beat Gonzaga by 21 points in
the (2004) NCAA Tournament? It's a waste of their time. It's a
no-win situation for them.

"They're every bit as good as any of the teams we've played if
not better in a lot of respects," said Dambrot.

It was Fazekas' 12th double-double of the season, the 35th of
the junior's career. Shiloh was 6-for-8 on 3-pointers and Nevada
shot 53 percent from the field -- a season-best 12-of-19 from
3-point range -- to Akron's 32 percent from the field.

"It's a great feeling," Fazekas, a junior, said about his
third 20-win season.

"To be a part of something that has been a great tradition here
and just for us to do it three straight years ... is really special
and it's something I dreamed about when I was coming out of high
school," he said.

Nevada went on a 17-2 run midway through the first half and
scored the first six points of the second half to go ahead 55-31 on
a basket inside by Fazekas, who added a 3-pointer a minute later
for a 61-37 lead with 17:09 left in the game.

Nick Dials scored five straight points on a 7-0 run that pulled
Akron to within 64-48 at 10:43. But Marcelus Kemp -- who finished
with 11 points -- answered with a 3-pointer to spark a 10-2 run that
put Nevada back on top 74-50 with 7:47 remaining.

It marks only the eighth time in school history Nevada has won
at least 20 games and the first time the same Wolf Pack coach has
done it twice.

"It's great for our program," said Fox, in his second year
after replacing Trent Johnson, now at Stanford. "It's a compliment
to our players. Twenty-win seasons are a result of their
commitment."