RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Hours after debuting in the national rankings,
Nevada did its best to try to stay there.
Nick Fazekas had 15 points and 15 rebounds to help Nevada (No. 25 AP) beat Tulsa 70-56 Monday night for its seventh straight win.
Kevinn Pinkney added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolf Pack
(21-5, 13-2 Western Athletic Conference), who moved into The
Associated Press poll for the first time ever earlier Monday.
"Little by little, around the nation, everyone is starting to
respect Nevada. And they have no choice but to," said Pinkney, who
downplayed the importance of ranking to the team.
"Twenty-five, 100, whatever. It doesn't matter. We just want to
play ball and finish the season."
It was the 13th double-double for Fazekas and eighth for Pinkney
this season. Freshman point guard Ramon Sessions added nine points
and seven assists for the Wolf Pack, who made 16 of 19 free throws.
Nevada now has its best record at this point in the season since
the 1945-46 team started 21-4. Saturday's victory over Vermont
74-63 ensured Nevada's first back-to-back 20 win seasons ever on
the heels of last year's 25-9 squad that advanced to the third
round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Georgia Tech.
Last Nevada coach Trent Johnson, who attended Monday night's
game and tribute to seniors, left for Stanford after the season.
Mark Fox, his assistant for four years, was promoted to replace
"The ranking is something," Fox said. "I want people to
follow Nevada and be proud of us. That's what that is for."
Nevada led by as many as 14 points in the first half, going
ahead 31-17 when Washington scored inside and converted a free
throw for a three-point play.
But Wallace hit a pair of 3-pointers to key an 11-3 run over the
last 4 minutes of the half to cut the Wolf Pack's lead to 36-33.
Washington scored six points in the first 5 minutes of the
second half, scoring on a jumper, a dunk off an alley-oop from
Pinkney and a reverse layup to make it 44-38.
Price hit a 12-footer and Glenn made a layup to cut it to 44-42
with 13:35 left, but Chad Bell, Pinkney and Shiloh combined for six
straight free throws and Shiloh hit a 3-pointer to cap a 9-0 run
that made it 53-42.
After Glenn's basket inside cut it to 53-46, Mo Charlo's
3-pointer sparked a 12-0 run that made it 65-46 with 5:46 to go.
"Nevada, especially in the second half, they were the
aggressors," Tulsa coach Alvin "Pooh" Williamson said.
"They're very good. They just know how to win. Tonight's game
wasn't pretty -- they just grind it out."
Nevada had five turnovers in the first five minutes, but
outrebounded Tulsa 18-6 the first 10 minutes. Fazekas had seven and
Pinkney six in that span.
"Our defense was solid but they had nine offensive rebounds in
the first half. If you don't finish it with a rebound, it negates
the 30 seconds you just defended," Williamson said.
Tied at 12, Pinkney's tip in sparked a 10-0 run capped by
Fazekas basket on a goaltending call to put Nevada ahead 22-12
midway through the first half.
Glenn hit from 19 feet and converted a 3-point play to pull to
24-17 at 8:25. But Nevada followed with a 9-0 run to make it 33-17
on Session's floater in the lane at 5:41.