NCAA Game Summary - Nevada at Fresno State
(Saturday, February 25th)
Final Score: Nevada 79, Fresno State 76 (3OT)
Fresno, CA (Sports Network) - Crucial free throws by Deonte Burton, Dario Hunt and Malik Story down the stretch in the third overtime period served to provide the Nevada Wolf Pack with a hard-earned 79-76 win over the Fresno State Bulldogs in Western Athletic Conference action at the Save Mart Center.
Burton, who finished with 19 points, knocked down all but two of his 14 free- throw attempts in the meeting for the Pack (23-5, 11-1 WAC) as they clinched at least a share of the WAC regular season title. Hunt recorded a double- double for the visitors with 20 points and 15 rebounds, adding five blocked shots, while Olek Czyz produced a game-high 25 points to go along with his 11 boards.
The Bulldogs (13-17, 3-9) were paced by Kevin Foster who came off the bench to deliver 24 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out as the team had a two- game win streak snapped. Jonathan Wills posted 19 points and 10 boards, followed by Tyler Johnson and Kevin Olekaibe with 13 and 11 points, respectively, before both of them picked up their fifth personal fouls.
A tight game from start to finish, there were a total of 19 ties and an amazing 32 lead changes and it was poor shooting from the floor on both sides that led them to a 23-23 tie at the break.
In the second half FSU trailed by six points with under four minutes remaining, but a pair of three pointers by Olekaibe knotted the score at 53-53 with 2:51 left in regulation, but neither team was able to put the ball in the basket before time expired, although Czyz could have put the game in the win column had he made just one of his free-throw attempts with under a minute to play.
In the first overtime period neither team was able to move out to more than a three-point advantage. Ahead by a 62-59 score thanks to a jumper by Story, who finished with nine points on a mere 2-of-16 shooting from the field, Nevada failed to keep Foster out of the paint as his dunk with 55 seconds to play again locked the score at 62-62, thanks to a made free-throw earlier in the frame by Steven Shepp.
During the second extra frame, Czyz put the visitors on top with an early layup, but down the stretch Nevada needed a free throw by Hunt to push the meeting to yet another overtime period tied at 68-68.
Olekaibe, who shot only 2-of-8 behind the three-point line and 3-of-13 from the field overall, missed a couple of three-pointers, the second of those being stuffed immediately, with a subsequent foul sending Hunt to the free- throw line for the Pack where he converted the first of two to put Nevada ahead by four.
The Wolf Pack turned the ball over 17 times and shot just 26-of-42 at the free-throw line.
02/26 02:19:23 ET