Hot Tigers leave Wolf Pack behind

Memphis' 14-0 run in second half seals Sweet 16 trip

Memphis 78 Nevada 62

Ncaa Tournament

March 19, 2007|By Dave Curtis | Dave Curtis,ORLANDO SENTINEL

NEW ORLEANS -- The short jump shot that banged off the rim, and helped Nevada's season spiral to an end, will haunt Nick Fazekas for months.

"It's a shot I make nine out of ten times," the Wolf Pack forward said afterward. "That could have changed the whole game.

Fazekas' miss came with 5:02 remaining and Nevada, the No. 7 seed in the South Region, trailing No. 2 seed Memphis by two. The Tigers would score on the ensuing possession, starting a 14-point run that sealed a 78-62 second-round NCAA tournament victory.

The win moves Memphis (32-3) into a Sweet 16 matchup against No. 3 Texas A&M on Thursday night in San Antonio and ran its winning streak to 24 straight, the longest in the nation.

"It's a great feeling," Tigers senior guard Jeremy Hunt said. "We are 32-3. How much can you say about that."

Hunt scored a team-high 16 points for the Tigers, whose full-court pressure and bevy of athletic guards controlled much of the game. Nevada (29-5) took a 2-0 lead on a Marcelus Kemp jump shot 1:45 into the game. The Tigers would run off the next six points, and the Wolf Pack wouldn't lead again.

Nevada, 16th in the nation in field-goal percentage at 48.9 percent through their conference tournament, shot 37 percent yesterday, its second-worst shooting game of the season.

"We knew if we were going to go anywhere in this tournament, it starts on defense," Memphis' Antonio Anderson said. "The guys are committed to that. Everyone worried about defense."

The worries reached their peak in the second half, when a Denis Ikovlev three-pointer and two Fazekas free throws made it 64-62 with 6:17 remaining. Nevada would gain possession a minute later on point guard Kyle Shiloh's steal, but Fazekas couldn't convert to tie the game.

Fazekas managed 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in his collegiate swan song, and Kemp added 18 points.

Guard Chris Douglas-Roberts matched Hunt's 16 points, making 10 of 12 foul shots. The Tigers shot 26-for-34 as a team, including 8-for-12 during their game-clinching run.

Dave Curtis writes for the Orlando Sentinel.

NEVADA-Fazekas 7-18 6-7 20, Ikovlev 3-5 2-2 11, Shiloh 1-6 7-8 9, Kemp 8-17 0-0 18, Sessions 1-8 0-0 2, Fields 1-1 0-0 2, Burleson 0-1 0-0 0, LaGrone 0-0 0-0 0, Hanson 0-1 0-0 0, Ellis 0-0 0-0 0, McGee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-57 15-17 62. MEMPHIS-Dozier 4-7 0-0 9, Dorsey 2-3 4-6 8, Kemp 0-5 0-0 0, Anderson 4-9 5-8 14, Douglas-Roberts 3-8 10-12 16, Hunt 4-13 6-7 16, Allen 4-8 1-1 10, Mack 1-3 0-0 3, Cooper 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 23-59 26-34 78. Halftime-Memphis, 37-33. 3-point goals-Nevada 5-21 (Ikovlev 3-4, Kemp 2-8, Burleson 0-1, Sessions 0-1, Hanson 0-1, Shiloh 0-3, Fazekas 0-3), Memphis 6-17 (Hunt 2-7, Dozier 1-1, Anderson 1-1, Mack 1-2, Allen 1-3, Douglas-Roberts 0-1, Kemp 0-2). Fouled out-Kemp. Rebounds-Nevada 30 (Fazekas 7), Memphis 40 (Anderson 10). Assists-Nevada 16 (Sessions 5), Memphis 10 (Allen, Anderson 4). Total fouls-Nevada 22, Memphis 16. A-13,594.

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