RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Brandon Fields scored a career-high 29 points to lead Nevada past New Mexico State 98-85 on Thursday night.
Marcelus Kemp added 27 points for the Wolf Pack, which improved to 18-10 overall and 10-4 in the Western Athletic Conference. The victory leaves Nevada all alone in second place in the WAC, just ahead of New Mexico State (16-13, 9-4 WAC) and Utah State.
Fields, who also had a team-high nine rebounds, scored in the lane for a 91-80 Nevada lead with 1:25 to play. The 6-foot-4 sophomore also drained two free throws with 1:06 to play for a 93-82 lead.
New Mexico State, which trailed the entire game, cut Nevada's lead to 87-78 with 2:45 to play on a 3-pointer by Jonathan Gibson. It was the first time Nevada led by less than 10 points since a 24-16 lead with 10:30 to play in the first half.
Nevada, which jumped out to a 10-1 lead four minutes into the game, never trailed in taking a 47-35 halftime lead. A jumper by Kemp gave Nevada its biggest lead in the first half at 41-23.
Kemp, who had 16 first-half points, had three 3-pointers in the opening half. His third trey gave Nevada a 44-27 lead with 2:50 to go in the first half.
It was defense that allowed Nevada to keep its first-half lead in double digits. A block by JaVale McGee led to a Fields layup and a 28-16 lead and a Lyndale Burleson steal led to another Fields layup and a 30-16 lead with 8:30 to play. Fields finished with eight points in the first half.
Hawkins led New Mexico State with eight points and five rebounds in the first half. A pair of free throws and a dunk by Herb Pope helped cut Nevada's lead to 11 (46-35) with 18 seconds to go in the first half.