7:05 PM ET, December 22, 2006
James A. Rhodes Arena, Akron, Ohio
AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Nick Fazekas didn't let a slight ankle sprain keep him from leading Nevada (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) to another road win.The senior center had 24 points and 11 rebounds to help the Wolf Pack hold off Akron 73-71 on Friday night in front of a crowd that included Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James."He had a little sprain, but got it retaped and came back out and helped us finish," Nevada coach Mark Fox said of the 6-foot-11 Fazekas, who averages 21 points and 12 rebounds."We needed him. We had our hands full. Akron's offense is a little better than our defense so we went to the zone -- which we normally don't do -- and it worked."Dru Joyce tied a career high with 23 points and Romeo Travis added 11 to lead Akron (7-3), which had a 21-game home winning streak snapped. The two seniors combined with James to win two state championships at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School."I'm not really one for moral victories, so I'm not completely satisfied," Akron coach Keith Dambrot said. "We had a chance to win and didn't handle the zone well enough."Ramon Sessions added 22 points for Nevada (10-1), which tied the best start in history, set in 1978-79 and matched last season. The Wolf Pack have won nine straight on the road and are 25-5 away from home the last three seasons."Akron played great," Sessions said. "We made a bad switch on the final play, but luckily they missed the shot."Akron got the ball after a timeout with 2.6 seconds left and passed to Joyce, who missed an open 14-footer."I thought I was going to be a decoy, but they made a mistake on coverage and I was open," Joyce said. "I had a good look, but short-armed it. Nine of the next 10 times, I'll hit that shot."Nevada used an 8-0 run to take a 65-61 lead with four minutes to play. Then Nick Dials was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all the free throws to get the Zips within one point with 3:36 left.Joyce missed a free throw with 3:01 left that would have tied it at 67, but he hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game to get the Zips within 71-69 with 1:50 left.Fazekas made his first eight shots before missing a 12-foot jumper with 1:37 left in the first half as Nevada went on a 17-6 run to lead 41-33 at halftime.Akron's Cedrick Middleton drove the length of the court for a three-point play as the first-half buzzer sounded."That was a momentum-changer," Joyce said. "We were in trouble, our heads were dropping, but he got us going."The Zips opened the second half with a 15-3 run, including a long 3-pointer by Joyce that gave them a 48-44 lead.Before the game, it was announced that Dambrot signed a new five-year contract.Dambrot, who has a 49-23 record in two-plus seasons at the school, is under contract through 2011. He coached St. Vincent-St. Mary High School to its state championships before taking over at Akron.
|FG Made-Attempted||26-51 (.510)||25-59 (.424)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-9 (.333)||7-19 (.368)|
|FT Made-Attempted||18-21 (.857)||14-23 (.609)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (0/0)||21 (0/0)|
|» Dec 22, 2006||NEV 73, @AKR 71||Recap|