RENO, Nev. (AP)—Nick Fazekas put up another double-double and Nevada overcame a sluggish start thanks to its sharp 3-point shooting.
Fazekas had 29 points and 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double in four games, and Marcelus Kemp added 23 points to lead the 21st-ranked Wolf Pack past UC Irvine 83-64 Tuesday night.
Kyle Shiloh added 15 points for Nevada (4-0), which went on a 10-0 run early in the second half to win its 12th straight at home. The Wolf Pack shot 11-of-19 on 3-pointers, including four by Shiloh, three by Fazekas and two by Kemp.
Nevada has made 36 of 74 attempts from the behind the arc this season for an impressive 48.5 percent.
“We have a lot of guys who can shoot the ball,” coach Mark Fox said. “We made a conscious effort to recruit shooting and work on shooting and we’ve got guys that are taking advantage of their opportunities right now.”
Ramon Sessions added seven points and seven assists for Nevada, which is 48-5 at home since the start of the 2003-04 season.
With UC Irvine’s defense concentrating on the 6-foot-11 Fazekas inside, Kemp and Shiloh broke the game open with long-range jumpers.
“They were sagging on Nick so we just took the shots they gave us,” said Shiloh, who went 4-of-7 from 3-point range. “He scores like 30 points a game. He has five guys around him at all times.”
Fazekas, one of 21 players in the NCAA to average double digits in scoring and rebounding last season, entered the game averaging nearly 23 points and 15 rebounds per game. He shot 8-of-14 from the field Tuesday night, hitting all three 3-point attempts, and made 10 of 13 free throws.
“When you’ve got Shiloh and Marcelus and Ramon shooting the ball well, it can only help me. Definitely with these guys playing well, that’s what we need,” Fazekas said.
He said his own success from long range is due to Nevada’s consistent ball movement.
“I’ve been trying to take better looks, that’s what it is. Definitely not trying to force anything. We’re just staying in the system like Coach has us doing,” he said.
Patrick Sanders had 15 points, Adam Templeton 13 and Marcus McIntosh 10 for UC Irvine (2-4), which committed 17 turnovers to Nevada’s eight.
“I was pleased with the way we battled tonight,” UC Irvine coach Pat Douglass said. “We don’t have a lot of experience at the guard position right now, but I was proud of our guys. We’re a young team. We have two seniors and I think we can learn from this game and skills we need to work on.”
The Anteaters trailed 42-36 when Sanders opened the second half with a pair of free throws, but Shiloh countered with consecutive 3-pointers and lobbed a pass to Fazekas for a dunk. Sessions then stole a pass and fed Kemp for a layup to cap a 10-0 run for a 56-42 lead with 16:02 remaining.
Freshman Chad DeCasas made a 3-pointer and four consecutive free throws to cut the lead to 56-43 at 13:41. But Shiloh made another from behind the arc and Sessions converted a three-point play after he was fouled on a fast break to make it 63-45 at 11:36.
McIntosh followed a layup with a pair of free throws to pull to 74-61 at 4:22, but the Anteaters got no closer.
Fazekas, Denis Ikovlev and David Ellis hit 3-pointers during a 3-minute span to put Nevada ahead 19-11. Ikovlev scored inside off a pass from Fazekas to cap a 9-0 run for a 25-11 lead 8:17 before the half.
Sanders converted a three-point play, then made a 3. Darren Fells added another to pull the Anteaters to 35-28 at 2:11.
Kemp was fouled while scoring on a double pump inside and made the free throw for a 38-28 advantage, but Chuma Awaji’s 3-pointer at the buzzer cut Nevada’s lead to 42-34 at halftime.