March 4, 2012
RENO, Nev. - Senior Romario Souza had a team-high 15 points and six rebounds as Louisiana Tech fell short against Nevada 79-69 in the Lawlor Events Center Saturday night in the regular season finale for both teams.
With the loss, the Bulldogs are now 16-15 and 6-8 in the Western Athletic Conference while the Wolf Pack increase their record to 25-5 overall and 13-1 in the conference.
Tech fell behind 9-5 just over five minutes into the first half on a Deonte Burton jumper in the lane. A three-pointer from sophomore Cordarius Johnson and a layup by senior Trevor Gaskins gave the Bulldogs a one-point lead at the 13:41 mark.
After trading the lead a couple of times, Nevada pulled ahead 25-18 with just under four minutes until halftime.
The Bulldogs would end the period on a 11-2 run that was capped off by freshman Kenneth Smith three-pointer with two seconds on the clock. During the run, Johnson scored four points with two coming at the free throw line.
A fastbreak layup from Souza put Tech up 37-31, their largest of the contest, three and a half minutes into the second half.
The Wolf Pack pulled to within one with 14:42 on the clock on a layup from Patrick Nyeko. On the next possession, Gaskins made a three-pointer off of a pass from Smith to put the Bulldogs up 45-41.
An alley-oop dunk by Cordarius Johnson pushed Tech's advantage to five with just over 11 minutes to play.
Nevada responded with 21-5 run over the next 6:17 to go up 67-56. They would extend their lead to as much as 13 with a little over four and a half minutes left in the game.
Gaskins scored 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half, while freshman Raheem Appleby added 10 points. Johnson contributed 12 points off the bench including two three-pointers.
Smith dished out six assists while turning the ball over only one time and had a game-high three steals. Freshman Michale Kyser blocked three shots including two on one possession.
The Bulldogs shot 44.1 percent (26-59) from the field including 42.1 percent (8-19) from three-point range. Defensively, they forced 19 turnovers with 10 coming as the results of steals.
Deonte Burton had a game-high 20 points and seven assists while Dario Hunt recorded a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Jerry Evans and Malik Story contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Nevada shot 52.7 percent (29-55) on field goal attempts and 46.2 percent (6-13) from beyond the arc. They blocked six shots and outrebounded Tech 48-21.
Louisiana Tech returns to action Thursday in the WAC Tournament that will be played in Las Vegas against an opponent to be decided.