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Kemp carries Nevada over San Jose State

Jan 12, 2007 - 7:51 AM SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- With star player Nick Fazekas on the sideline, Marcelus Kemp continued to impress.

Kemp scored a season-high 33 points as No. 15 Nevada overcame an early deficit to post a 72-63 victory over San Jose State in Western Athletic Conference action.

A two-time WAC Player of the Year and the Wolf Pack's leading scorer, Fazekas was unable to play after suffering an ankle injury in a 90-86 victory over Boise State on Monday.

The 6-11 senior's absence hurt Nevada (15-1, 3-0 WAC) early, as it fell behind, 19-11, on a layup by Menelik Barbary with 8:50 expired. The 6-10 Barbary had 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting in that early burst.

However, Kemp soon took over, scoring 21 points in the first half as the Wolf Pack rallied for a 34-32 edge at the break. The momentum continued after intermission, as Denis Ikovlev's layup 4:50 in provided Nevada with a 48-36 advantage.

Kemp, who finished just a point shy of his career high set against Montana in the NCAA Tournament last March, extended the lead to 57-44 on a jumper with 8:40 remaining.

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

The junior guard, who led Nevada in scoring for the third straight game and sixth in the last eight, finished 12-of-23 from the field with five 3-pointers and eight rebounds.

In the last eight games, Kemp is averaging 21.8 points on 47.6 percent (59-of-124) shooting.

"I don't think about it. Whatever comes to me, I've been getting good looks," Kemp said. "And I've been taking them."

Kyle Shiloh added 14 points for the Wolf Pack, who shot 46 percent (27-of-59), including 12-of-19 from the arc, and held a 36-32 edge in rebounding in winning their eighth straight game.

Barbary finished with 23 points and nine rebounds for San Jose State (1-14, 0-3), which absorbed its eighth straight loss.

Carlton Spencer scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half for the Spartans, who shot 44 percent (27-of-61), including 4-of-16 on 3-pointers.

"You have to stay positive no matter what we do, how we do," Spencer said. "Kemp scores 30, 40, you just have to stay positive. He was on tonight and I think everybody knew he was on tonight. We tried our best."

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    NEVADA (15) 34 38 72
    SAN JOSE ST 32 31 63 FINAL

    Jan 11 11:49 PM

    NEVADA (15) 34

    Jan 11 10:47 PM