Marcelus Kemp scored 25 points and JaVale McGee added 23 points and 14 rebounds as Nevada defeated Fresno State 76-63 on Saturday night to clinch a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.
Nevada (20-10 overall, 12-4 WAC) finished the regular season in
a four-way tie with Boise State, Utah State and New Mexico State
atop the WAC standings.
After leading by five points at halftime, the Wolf Pack pulled
away early in the second half when Kemp scored seven points on
consecutive possessions, including a four-point play.
Hector Hernandez had 15 points for Fresno State (13-18, 5-11),
which shot 33.3 percent from the field, compared to Nevada's 48.4
Kevin Bell added 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the
Bulldogs, who said goodbye to six seniors playing their final home
game at the Save Mart Center.
It was the fifth straight WAC regular-season title for Nevada,
which will be the No. 2 seed at next weeks WAC Tournament in Las
Cruces, N.M., behind top-seeded Utah State. The Wolf Pack won its
previous four titles outright.
Nevada and Fresno State, the No. 7 seed, will face off again
Thursday in the first round of the WAC tournament.
Fresno State trailed by 10 points early in the second half
before closing to within 46-43 on Eddie Millers 3-pointer with
Kemp answered with a 3-pointer, then hit another on Nevada's
next possession while drawing a foul on Tyson Parker. Kemp made the
free throw to put the Wolf Pack in front 53-43 with 13:05 left.
Nevada maintained at least an eight-point lead for the rest of
The Wolf Pack led 36-31 at halftime when Brandon Fields banked
in a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Freshman Ned Golubovic kept Fresno State within striking
distance by scoring 11 of the Bulldogs final 12 points of the
The 6-foot-8 Golubovic hit a 3-pointer with 6:03 left, then
began taking the ball inside against the 7-foot McGee. Golubovic
scored all 11 of his points during the surge.