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No place like home: Nevada loses at Lawlor again
by Aaron Retherford
Feb 26, 2011 | 644 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With a crowded Western Athletic Conference standings, Saturday night’s game between Nevada and Boise State had a lot on the line with only a half game separating the two teams.

The Wolf Pack entered the game in a tie for fifth place and needed to rebound after a lackluster loss to Idaho Thursday night.

Unfortunately for Pack fans, they had to watch another sluggish performance as the Broncos sent the Silver and Blue to a 72-66 defeat.

It took almost three minutes for either team to score. A free throw by Nevada’s Patrick Nyeko broke the scoreless tie at the 17:12 mark of the first half.

However, the floodgates did not open. The clank of bricked shots repeatedly echoed through the air of Lawlor Events Center until Olek Czyz knocked down the first shot from the field 4:15 into the game, giving the Wolf Pack a 3-0 lead.

Five minutes in, Thomas Bropleh swished a 3-pointer from the corner for Boise St., tying the game at 3-3.

The Wolf Pack built a pair of four-point leads in the first 10 minutes of the first half only to watch the Broncos answer with back-to-back buckets both times, knotting the score at 7-7 and 11-11. The second tie came with 10:08 left on the first-half clock.

But for the first time, BSU took the lead when Robert Arnold scored a layup in transition for his first two points of the night, giving the visitors a 13-11 edge with 8:48 to go in the first half.

Four straight points by Czyz in a 21-second span gave the lead back to Nevada, 15-13. Czyz increased his points total to eight by draining a pair of free throws and banking a shot from inside the paint. He was far from done though, scoring 14 of Nevada’s 23 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Then, BSU’s second-leading scorer got back into the act, dropping in consecutive buckets. Arnold got a putback to go and converted a layup on a hard drive to the hoop, forging the Broncos into an 18-17 advantage.

Boise could not pull away though. Czyz tied it up at 18-18 with a free throw.

Following a Paul Noonan turnaround jumper, Czyz heated up again, knocking down a wide-open 3-pointer and tipping in a putback for five straight points. That left Nevada ahead 23-20

The Broncos cut the gap to 23-22 by the break.

Boise St. took control after halftime on the strength of 62.5 percent shooting to finish at 50 percent (25-for-50) for the game. The Broncos pushed the lead up to 42-33 a little over six minutes into the second half.

Nevada got a little run going with five straight, helped by jumpers from Malik Story and Kevin Panzer. However, the Wolf Pack never got closer than seven points until 26 seconds were left in the game.

A Noonan 3-pointer pushed the gap back up to double digits, 47-37, with 11:31 left in the conference clash.

A pair of foul shots by La’Shard Anderson increased Boise’s lead to a game-high 49-37.

Czyz did his best to keep Nevada in the game, igniting a 5-0 run by converting a 3-point play. Still, the home team could not close the distance beyond seven points. Czyz finished with a game-high 25 points on the evening.

Two free throws by Arnold made it a double-digit advantage again, 54-44. There wasn’t much drama the rest of the game until the final 30 seconds.

Nevada freshman Deonte Burton let it rain from behind the arc, hitting two 3-pointers in the final minute. The second cut the deficit to six points, 69-63 with 25 seconds to play. Burton and Story were the only other Pack players in double digits after contributing 14 and 10 respectively to the losing cause.

With 15 seconds on the clock, Czyz capped his stellar night by converting another 3-point play, making it a 70-66 game. There were no more fireworks. Czyz also ripped down 11 rebounds to record a double-double.

Anderson paced the Broncos offense with 23 points. Daequon Montreal added 16, while Arnold chipped in 12.

Nevada falls to 11-17 on the season and 7-7 in WAC play. The Wolf Pack finishes up the regular season on the road at Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State.
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