Nevada 75 - No. 6 Kansas 61

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Nevada coach Trent Johnson figured his team needed to play a near-perfect game to beat Kansas. That's what the Wolf Pack did.

Kirk Snyder had 29 points and nine rebounds and Nevada used sharp foul shooting down the stretch to upset No. 6 Kansas 75-61 Sunday night at the Wolf Pack Holiday Classic.

``It's pretty hard for me personally to imagine us under the circumstances playing better,'' Johnson said. ``I thought we put on a pretty good performance in front of some pretty good enthusiastic and deserving fans.''

Cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of 10,983 fans, Nevada made 19 of 21 free throws over the final 10 minutes to hold off the Jayhawks.

Todd Okeson had 12 points and Kevinn Pinkney added 10 for the Wolf Pack (5-3), who were mobbed by more than 100 students who charged the floor at the buzzer.

``I still have goose bumps. It hasn't really set in that we just beat Kansas,'' said Okeson, who us from Weskan, Kan.

Snyder, the preseason player of the year in the Western Athletic Conference, was 9-for-18 from the field and 8-for-11 from the line. Nevada made 24 of 29 free throws for the game.

``When you look up and see 10,000 fans, it makes the game so easy,'' Snyder said. ``Fatigue is not a factor.''

Keith Langford and Aaron Miles each had 11 points for Kansas (6-2), which went on a 20-8 run late the game to pull within 68-61 with 1:47 left but couldn't overcome a 20-point halftime deficit.

``They were obviously very prepared and ready to play,'' Kansas coach Bill Self said. ``And I didn't do a good job obviously of getting my team ready to play for whatever reason and that's on me. They deserve what they got tonight and we deserve what we got tonight.''

Nevada dominated the first half, outrebounding the Jayhawks 23-13 while holding them to 26 percent shooting to take a 20-point halftime lead.

``In the first half, we really got after them,'' Johnson said. ``We were aggressive defensively and played about as well as we can. In the second half when they made their run, our guys stood their ground and kept their composure.''

Nevada never trailed, jumping out to a 12-2 lead five minutes into the game and extending the advantage to 40-17 when Nick Fazekas made a pair of free throws with 1:25 left in the half.

With Nevada leading 40-20 at the half, Snyder followed a reverse layup with a 3-pointer from the right baseline to put Nevada ahead 49-24 with 17:14 remaining.

Kansas responded with seven straight points on J.R. Giddens' layup and 3-pointer and Aaron Miles' basket inside to cut it to 49-31.

But Snyder scored on a drive and hit a 3-pointer for a 54-33.

Jeff Hawkins hit a 3-pointer to spark an 8-0 run capped by Miles' drive for a score to make it 54-41 with 11 minutes left.

But Snyder and Okeson each made a pair of free throws to go up 60-41 after Snyder was fouled by Jeff Graves and Hawkins was called for a technical foul.

Kansas rallied one last time with a 14-4 run when Wayne Simien scored twice inside, Hawkins turned a steal into a layup and Langford hit a 3-pointer to pull within 64-55 at 3:48.

Kansas freshman David Padgett had consecutive field goals and Miles drove for the score to make it 68-61 with 1:47 left.

Snyder made three free throws and Okeson and Pinkney two each down the stretch to seal the win.


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