(19) Nevada 72

(15-1, 3-0 WAC)

San Jose State 63

(1-14, 0-3 WAC)

    10:00 PM ET, January 11, 2007

    Event Center (San Jose St.), San Jose, California

    1 2 T
    #19NEV 34 3872
    SJSU 32 3163

    Top Performers

    Nevada: M. Kemp 33 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    San Josť St: M. Barbary 23 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Kemp steps it up for No. 15 Nevada victory; Fazekas sit out

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- If Marcelus Kemp keeps shooting this well, Nevada might not miss leading scorer Nick Fazekas too much.

    Kemp scored 21 of his season-high 33 points in the first half to help the Wolf Pack (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 19 AP) overcome the loss of their injured star and beat San Jose State 72-63 Thursday night.

    Kemp's best game of the season helped the Wolf Pack bounce back from a slow start as they fell behind by eight points, struggling a bit without Fazekas.

    "We built a plan for this team that includes Nick Fazekas," coach Mark Fox said. "In short periods, you can adjust to not having him. It's a completely different operation without him in the middle. So we did have an adjustment period."

    With Fazekas watching on the end of the bench with a severely sprained left ankle, Kemp took over the scoring load for the Wolf Pack (15-1, 3-0 Western Athletic Conference), who are off to the best start in school history.

    Kemp scored on a wide variety of moves, including floaters, put backs, fast breaks, and most effectively on long 3-pointers to help Nevada win its eighth straight overall and ninth in a row against San Jose State (1-14, 0-3).

    Playing without their best post player in Fazekas, the Wolf Pack relied heavily on the outside shot. They scored half of their points on 3-pointers, with Kemp hitting five of Nevada's 12 long-range shots.

    "Nick's out and he averages more than 20 points a game," said Kemp, who finished one shy of his career high set in the NCAA tournament last season against Montana. "As a team, we know we have to get some more baskets for ourselves. I was able to do that tonight."

    Fazekas, the two-time WAC player of the year, injured his ankle on Monday night against Boise State and will also miss at least Saturday's game at Hawaii. Fazekas is second in the nation in rebounding (12.3 per game) and 17th in scoring (20.8), but Kemp made sure he would not be missed.

    Kemp carried the Wolf Pack in the first half and then scored the final five points of a 7-0 run early in the second half that gave Nevada a 46-36 lead. The Wolf Pack led by at least seven the rest of the way.

    "Obviously Marcelus was more aggressive and we wanted him to be that way," Fox said.

    Kyle Shiloh was the only other player in double figures for Nevada with 14 points.

    Menelik Barbary led San Jose State with 23 points and Carlton Spencer added 16.

    The Wolf Pack missed Fazekas more on the defensive end than on offense, as they had no answer early in the game for the inside play of Barbary. San Jose State's 6-foot-10 center overpowered fill-in David Ellis and scored 12 points in a span of 6:22 early in the game to give the Spartans a 19-11 lead.

    Kemp then took over with a dazzling array of long-range shots. He scored all of Nevada's points during a 14-4 run that gave the Wolf Pack a 28-25 lead. He hit three 3-pointers during the spurt, including one from well behind the arc.

    "I think we let Kemp get too many open looks in the first half," San Jose State coach George Nessman said. "In the second half, the guy made some monster shots on us. What are you going to do? All you can ask your players to do is to be in the right position defensively and challenge the guy and make it tough on him."

    The back-to-back 3s to end the run put Kemp over the 20-point mark for the fifth straight game -- just 17:03 into the contest. Kemp's big half helped Nevada take a 34-32 lead at the break.

    Despite seeing his team lose its eighth straight game, Nessman is seeing signs of progress following a six-point loss at New Mexico State and this game against Nevada.

    "We're playing better as a group and we're improving and we're challenging people," he said. "We're going to catch somebody on the wrong night and get in the right column and start moving forward. We're disappointed with the results but we're not discouraged at all. We think as a program we're moving forward."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 72 63
    FG Made-Attempted 27-59 (.458) 27-61 (.443)
    3P Made-Attempted 12-19 (.632) 4-16 (.250)
    FT Made-Attempted 6-9 (.667) 5-9 (.556)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 11 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 8

    2006-07 Season

    » Jan 11, 2007 NEV 72, @SJSU 63Recap
    Feb 14, 2007 @NEV 68, SJSU 60Recap