Utah State
77 - 79 Final - OT
  for this game

Utah State halts Nevada's 10-game winning streak in OT

Mar 2, 2007 - 8:45 AM LOGAN, Utah (Ticker) -- Chaz Spicer and Utah State knew that Nevada would lean heavily on Nick Fazekas in overtime, and made the Wolf Pack pay for it.

Spicer converted two free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime as the Aggies halted ninth-ranked Nevada's 10-game winning streak with a 79-77 Western Athletic Conference victory.

Extending its home winning streak to 15 games, Utah State record its first victory over a ranked foe since beating intrastate rival Utah on November 18, 1998.

"This is a great win for us," Spicer said. "We have been talking about it all week. We had to get Nevada back."

"That is obviously a fun win, a huge win," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "(It was) a great crowd, that is a home court personified right there."

Spicer, who finished with 17 points, reached the free-throw line after he was hit on the elbow on a jumper by Fazekas, a two-time WAC Player of the Year and a Wooden Award candidate.

"When opportunity comes you have to take full advantage of it," Spicer said. "I was able to get a foul, get to the line, and knock down the free throws."

Fazekas finished with 20 points for the Wolf Pack (26-3, 13-2 WAC), who absorbed their first loss since a 80-73 setback at New Mexico State on January 20. Nevada had already clinched the conference's regular-season title with a 95-81 win at Boise State on Saturday.

"This is a lost, we haven't lost very many," Nevada coach Mark Fox said. "This counts as one loss, not two. We lost to a very good basketball team on the road, and I give them credit."

With the game on the line inside the closing minute, Nevada was twice caught trying to force the ball inside to the 6-11 Fazekas, leading to four straight points by Utah State to close out the game.

The Wolf Pack were holding a 77-75 edge when guard Ramon Sessions attempted to find Fazekas off a pick-and-roll in the lane. However, the Aggies swarmed the star player, stealing the ball to set up a fast-break layup by Jaycee Carroll that tied the game with 45 seconds remaining.

Moments later, Sessions tried to find Fazekas off a drive but threw into traffic, giving Utah State (21-9, 9-6) the ball with 35 seconds left and a chance to win the game.

Following a timeout with 25 ticks to go, the Aggies worked the ball around the perimeter until Spicer got it just above the foul line and was hit by Fazekas.

Nevada got a chance for a final shot, but Marcelus Kemp's heave from the right sideline near halfcourt missed everything.

"We were trying to inbound it and we thought we had time for one pass to Marcelus Kemp, but we got it in a bad place pinned against the sideline," Fox said.

Utah State appeared as if it might avenge a 79-62 road loss at Nevada in regulation when Carroll was fouled on a driving layup and converted the ensuing free throw for a 71-67 lead with 2:17 remaining.

The Wolf Pack responded with a hook shot in the lane by Fazekas with two minutes left and tied the contest a minute later when Kemp converted a layup.

The contest remained tied as the Aggies could not protect the ball. Nevada's Lyndale Burleson grabbed a steal with the shot clock winding down on Utah State, but stepped on the baseline to give the ball back to the Aggies with 37 seconds remaining.

After taking a timeout with 17 seconds left, Utah State saw a second possession come up empty as Burleson deflected a pass with 3.8 seconds left, leading to another steal for the Wolf Pack.

"I couldn't be more proud of this group," Morrill said. "They just hung (tough), I don't know how else to say it. They just hung in there through some tough times."

Nevada was unable to cash in as Sessions had a 3-pointer at the buzzer spin out.

Stephen DuCharme scored 20 points and Carroll added 18 for Utah State, which shot 46 percent (31-of-68).

Kemp had 25 points and Sessions added nine, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Wolf Pack, who lost despite holding a 45-33 advantage on the boards and 34-26 edge in points in the paint.