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Fazekas returns as Nevada wins 10th straight

Jan 19, 2007 - 7:54 AM RENO, Nevada (Ticker) -- Nick Fazekas did not appear too rusty after missing the previous two games.

Fazekas returned from an ankle injury to score 20 points as No. 13 Nevada posted an 85-75 victory over Fresno State in a Western Athletic Conference contest.

Marcelus Kemp led the way with 22 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Wolf Pack (17-1, 5-0 WAC), who captured their 10th straight victory. They also recorded their 15th consecutive win in the WAC.

"It was a big win for us," Fazekas said. "To keep climbing up the rankings in the WAC and stay undefeated in the conference."

A two-time WAC Player of the Year, the senior Fazekas missed the first two games of his career after suffering a severe ankle sprain vs. Boise State on January 8, snapping a string of 86 consecutive starts.

"It's really a huge lift for us to have him back," Nevada coach Mark Fox said.

"It felt great to have him back," Kemp said. "The team is happy that he is back."

The 6-11 forward showed very little signs of still being hobbled by the injury, making five of his first seven shots for 12 points in the first half, leading the Wolf Pack to a 41-37 lead.

"It was a little sore, but it felt better out there than at practice," Fazekas said. "You're always tentative with an injury and I had the injury on my mind a little bit."

Despite the halftime deficit, the Bulldogs (13-5, 2-3) managed to tie the score at 55-55 on a dunk by Ja'Vance Coleman with 12:33 remaining. However, Kemp answered back with consecutive 3-pointers for a 61-55 edge with 10:55 left.

Kemp added the final of his four 3-pointers to make it 69-61 with 6:23 to go, and Fazekas hit a jumper to extend the lead to 11 points a little more than a minute later.

Fazekas finished 7-of-13 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Dominic McGuire scored 19 points to lead five players in double figures for Fresno State, which shot 38 percent (26-of-69) in absorbing its third straight loss.

"We had 19 assists with only five turnovers, but shot 38 percent and that's not good enough to win on the road," Bulldogs coach Steve Cleveland said.

Hector Hernandez had 13 points and Coleman and Quinton Hosley added 12 each for Fresno State.

"They are a very hard team to defend," Fox said. "We were fortunate to do a decent job on Ja'Vance Coleman and Quinton Hosley. Our defense was solid ... but I didn't think it was great."