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Fazekas, Kemp lift Nevada past Louisiana Tech

Feb 1, 2007 - 6:27 AM RUSTON, Louisiana (Ticker) -- A little familiarity proved a little troublesome for Nevada.

Nick Fazekas and Marcelus Kemp scored 20 points apiece and the 13th-ranked Wolf Pack used some superb free-throw shooting to secure a 79-71 victory over Louisiana Tech in a Western Athletic Conference matchup.

Nevada (20-2, 8-1 WAC) beat the Bulldogs for the second time in six days, but this one was considerably tougher than Thursday's 84-67 victory in Reno.

The Wolf Pack could never shake Louisiana Tech and needed to hit eight consecutive free throws in the final minute to avert the upset and notch their third straight win.

"I told our team my two quick thoughts after the game tonight," Tech coach Keith Richard said. "One was we had a goal not to let Nevada get away from us. We accomplished that. But the second thing was that we couldn't get the big stops we needed on defense. We didn't have an answer. That's why they are 20-2."

Trailing, 68-60, with just under four minutes left, the Bulldogs shaved the deficit to 68-65 when Keith Smith hit a 3-pointer and Jerome Richardson converted a follow shot with 2:32 to play.

Kemp responded with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and Nevada rode out the game at the stripe, where it made 18-of-19 in the second half.

Kyle Shiloh added 10 points, including four of the final eight foul shots for the Wolf Pack, who shot 51 percent (28-of-55) from the floor.

Fazekas helped Nevada to a 40-35 edge on the boards by grabbing nine rebounds, just missing his 55th career double-double.

The Wolf Pack started fast, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and extending it to 17-7 on a 3-pointer by Fazekas just over eight minutes into the game.

Marcus Elliot brought the Bulldogs back, scoring six points in a 13-2 spurt to take the lead, 20-19, on a 3-pointer by Trey McDowell with 6:40 left in the half.

The scenario played out repeatedly, with Nevada surging ahead and Louisiana State chipping away at the lead.

"The thing Nevada does so well is they have good playmakers," Richard said. "If you make a defensive mistake, they find the right guy and capitalize on it. It makes it difficult to get over the hump since they make such big plays. You can't make mistakes against this team."

McDowell scored 14 points and Elliot added 13 for Louisiana Tech (6-15, 4-5), which has lost nine straight games to Nevada.

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