Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nevada in a squeaker 83-79

Luke Babbitt being in foul trouble is the dream of every WAC coach, David Carter excepted. It's easily the foremost manner in negating the likely most valuable player in the 2009-2010 Western Athletic Conference.

Shooting 46% while holding your opponent to 41% in the second 20 minutes also ranks right up there in capturing the imagining of a victory.

San Jose State produced both scenarios but fell short of the trifecta, losing 83-79 to the visiting Nevada Wolf Pack.

Adrian Oliver finished with 35 points on 13-22 shooting and Mac Peterson came next with 15. Brandon Fields topped Nevada with 23 points, Babbitt totaled 21 and Armon Johnson finished with 18.

Babbitt incurred his fourth foul and headed to the bench but just for a short time at the 12:18 mark of the second half -- the Pack ahead by one at 60-59.

Later on, Oliver's turnaround jumper tied the score at 71. After Babbitt missed, Peterson banged in a shot to put the Spartans ahead with 4:43 remaining.

Dario Hunt was fouled and made one of two free throws to bring Nevada to a one point deficit. Armon Johnson then hit a jumper to put the Wolf Pack back into the lead, 74-73.

Oliver followed with an old-fashioned three-point play -- a baseline jumper followed by a free throw -- to get SJSU the lead back, 76-74, with 3:34 on the clock.

Another Johnson two-pointer tied the game but Oliver wasn't done. He tallied another deuce with 1:59 showing to again boost the Spartans to a two-point advantage at 78-76.

Next, Joey Shaw caught a pass in the corner and buried a trey -- the Pack led 79-78 with 1:09 remaining.

Peterson attempted a pass into the paint but Babbitt intercepted it, came down and nailed a turnaround jumper to put David Carter's club into a three-point lead.

On the next possession, Oliver missed on a jumper, Chris Oakes missed on the tip and Babbitt was fouled after garnering the rebound. He netted both from the foul line and Nevada owned an insurmountable five-point margin.

Chris Oakes was fouled with two seconds remaining and he netted a free throw that closed out the scoring.

It was Nevada up by seven, 48-41, after the initial 20 minutes as both teams maintained hot hands. Nevada was smoking at 61%, San Jose State at 50%.

The Wolf Pack won the battle of the boards at 30-25. SJSU shot 48% on the night but Nevada finished at 52%. Carter's squad tallied 12 turnovers and three steals to 10 and eight respectively for the Spartans.

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