Fenner's 26 Points Helps Nevada Force Third Game for CBI Championship
RENO, Nev. (AP) - D.J. Fenner scored 26 points and Nevada evened the best-of-three College Basketball Invitational finals Wednesday night beating Morehead State 77-68.
The win forced a deciding game in the best-of-three series at 6 p.m. Friday in Reno.
"They win at home. Now we win at home," Fenner said. "Now it's just one more game for all the marbles. It's no Lakers-Celtics, but it's kind of cool just to be apart of the series."
Nevada freshman Cameron Oliver added 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Wolf Pack (23-14) moved to 4-1 in the tournament with all four wins coming at home.
On perhaps the biggest play of the game with 2:08 left and Morehead State mounting a comeback--pushing Nevada's once 12-point lead to four points at 66-62--senior Tyron Criswell grabbed a lose-ball offensive rebound along the baseline and found an open Fenner for three.
"I was just finding my spots," said Fenner, who scored a career high in points on Wednesday. "Before the game I was really working hard on getting to the basket and seeing if I could finish it if I drew the foul. I started getting to the basket early and things started working out for me."
Nevada held Morehead State (23-13) to 37.7 percent from the field after the Eagles shot 48.4 percent at home on Monday.
Morehead State's trio of Lyonell Gaines, DeJuan Marrero and Anthony Elechi led the Eagles on Monday with 51 points on 21-of-30 shooting. They combined for 27 points on 11-of-25 shooting.
Morehead State beat Nevada on offensive rebounds 17-8 and steals 13-6 and nearly eliminated the Wolf Pack's lead when Oliver left the game after committing his fourth foul with 11:21 left.
"We got to get better at rebounding the ball," Nevada head coach Eric Musselman said. "It's obviously an extremely physical game. They're a very over-aggressive defensive team. I thought we did a good job--even though we had 21 turnovers--they are one of the highest foul teams in the entire country and I thought we did a good job in the second half of protecting the ball."
Throughout the game--which included four technical fouls--both teams remained aggressive and at times scuffles broke out between players. Musselman and Morehead State head coach Sean Woods noted the physicality at the end of the game.
"That is college basketball," Woods said. "You have two fiery coaches. You have two teams that have their personalities and they want to win. I'm not against (Musselman) and what he's' trying to do, and hopefully he's not against me and what I'm trying to do. We're just in a fight to the finish and when it's all said and done we'll shake hands."