MORAGA, Calif. - When Nevada made its valiant second-half comeback, WAC Player of the Year Nick Fazekas was on the bench.
Fazekas left the contest with nearly eight minutes remaining, and didn't return until 2:16 remained. Nevada went on a 10-2 run in that span, trimming the Saint Mary's lead to three points before falling 89-80 Saturday afternoon.
From that point on, he was basically used at the offensive end of the floor.
Nevada coach Mark Fox said he made the change because he felt the Pack needed to go with a quicker lineup.
"We had to get steals to get back into it," Fox said. "We never could get the lead."
Fazekas, who sat out the final few minutes of Nevada's NCAA win over Texas last March, seemed philosophical about the situation.
"It's always hard to sit the bench," he said. "The team was doing well without me. That's how it goes I guess."
Fazekas did outplay Saint Mary's forward Daniel Kickert, who finished with 17 points and four rebounds compared to 21 and eight for the Pack star. Fazekas also had two more assists (2-0) and three less turnovers (1-4).
BIG MONDAY FOR WCC
With the Mountain West Conference's participation on Big Monday over, the West Coast Conference and the WAC are taking over the 9 p.m. time slot on Mondays.
The WCC has switched to a Saturday-Monday format, which is what the Mountain West used to do. Officials in the WAC said that option was discussed, but the various administrations were not in favor of it.
Flooding and snow in the Sierra stopped Wolf Pack play-by-play man Don Marchand from getting to California. Locals received the feed from the Saint Mary's broadcast.
Veteran Reno Gazette Journal writer Steve Sneddon said it took him nearly four hours to travel the eight miles between Vacaville and Fairfield. He was able to get to the game late in the first half.
Fox was hit with a technical foul with 6.3 left in the game when he stormed about 10 feet onto the court to protest the lack of a call on a jump shot by Marcelus Kemp, who appeared to be fouled by Rafael DaSilva.
Saint Mary's took the ball quickly upcourt and had numbers when Kyle Shiloh was called for an intentional foul, enabling the Gaels to shoot four straight foul shots. DaSilva made three of them, the last points of the heated contest.
FACTS & FIGURES
SMC's Daniel Kickert has started 106 straight games for the Gaels, the fifth-longest active start streak in the nation. He has started every SMC game since stepping onto the Moraga campus four years ago ... SMC will play 16 home games this season, equaling the mark established last season. The Gaels were 15-1 last year, posting a 93.7 winning percentage, the best in school history. They are 6-2 this year ... Senior forward Mo Charlo, who was 4 for 13 in wins over Norfolk State and Louisiana-Lafayette, bounced back nicely with a 6-for-11 effort against the Gaels... The 12-point effort by Shiloh was the second time he's scored in double digits the past four games. He scored 14 against Georgia ... Nevada assistant coach David Carter and his fellow 1988-89 Saint Mary's teammates were honored at halftime. Carter was the starting point guard on the team that won 25 games and reached the NCAA Tournament ... Nevada was outrebounded, 36-35. It was only the third time all season it was beaten on the glass ... Nevada failed to get much production from the center spot. Chad Bell went scoreless and grabbed one rebound, and Demarshay Johnson went scoreless, but did pull down seven rebounds. David Ellis played just two minutes and didn't record any stats... There were 12 ties and 16 lead changes... It was a homecoming for Charlo and Johnson, both of whom played at Diablo Valley College for Steve Coccimiglio, who did attend the game.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281