Pack tries to move on, following trouncing
RENO – From the frying pan into the fire.
It’s safe to say that things aren’t getting any easier for Nevada, which will find out just how resilient its young team is Thursday night at 7:05 when it faces New Mexico State at Lawlor Events Center.
Nevada, coming off a 25-point loss at Southern Illinois, enters the game with a 17-10 overall record and 9-4 in WAC play. Only once has Nevada failed to rebound after a loss. Nevada lost two straight after getting knocked off by arch-rival UNLV earlier this year.
“Nick (Fazekas) and Ramon (Sessions) didn’t lose very often when they were here,” Nevada coach Mark Fox said when asked to compare the group he had his first three years compared to this year’s squad. “One thing about this team is that we try to learn from the previous game whether it’s a win or a loss. There are certainly a lot of things to learn off the last game.
“We didn’t play well at either end (of the floor) and they played well at both ends. They really outplayed us.”
New Mexico State has six players averaging double-figures in points led by senior forward Justin Hawkins, who averages 17 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and is the Aggies’ most versatile scoring threat. Hawkins scored 18 in the Aggies’ 87-78 loss in Las Cruces, most of those coming in the second half when NMSU rallied from a double-digit deficit.
“I think Justin is a candidate for Player of the Year,” Fox said. “He’s a great player in all facets of the game.
“He can play defense, rebound the ball, shoot the 3, post up people and he can put the ball on the deck. I think he’s as complete a player as there is in the conference. We’ve enjoyed competing against him. He’s a guy we have a lot of respect for.”
And, he has plenty of help in centers Hatila Passos and Martin Iti, freshman forward Herb Pope and guards Jon Gibson, Fred Peete and Jahmar Young. All but Iti are averaging more than 10 points a game.
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