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NEVADA STARTS FAST THEN COASTS PAST WEBER ST. IN BIG SKY TOURNAMENT

Nevada coach Len Stevens told his players it was important they got off to a good start.

They took him to heart.The Wolf Pack blew to a 15-0 lead in the first five minutes Friday night and rolled over Weber State 92-83 in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference tournament.

"The coach said the first few minutes were important," said Nevada senior guard Kevin Soares. "We did the things he was asking us to do all year."

Bryan Thomasson hit 15 points, Ric Herrin and Eric Morris 14 each and Kirk Davidson 12 for Nevada (19-9), the league runnerup during the regular season.

The game wasn't as close as the final score indicated, as Nevada held a 49-23 halftime edge and rested its starters much of the game.

Weber State's first points came on an inside basket by David Baldwin at the 13:57 mark of the half.

Nevada dominated the boards and scored 12 first-half points on offensive rebounds, including eight by Morris.

Weber State (16-13) shot just 39 percent in the first half, compared with Nevada's nearly 56 percent.

The Wolf Pack had as much as a 44-point lead, 71-27, with 14:21 left in the contest.

Weber State outscored Nevada 56-21 the rest of the way.

The Wildcats' 60 second-half points set a tournament record, one more than Idaho State scored in the second half of a 1977 game against Montana State.

But its 23 tied the sixth lowest total for a first half in a Big Sky tournament game.

The Wildcats also lost twice to Nevada during the regular season.

"All three games they've been tough on us," said Weber State coach Ron Abegglen. "For some reason, they come out and kick us on the boards and hit the threes.

"We've struggled against Soares and Thommason every game we've played against them," he said. "We haven't been able to stop them from penetrating and kicking the ball out."

Nevada outrebounded the Wildcats 51-35, with Morris leading the way with 12.

Pacing Weber State were Al Hamilton with 19 points, Anthony Steward 14 and Baldwin 13.