O'Bryant Leads Spurt That Lifts Nevada Over Fullerton

TIMES STAFF WRITER

About six minutes into the second half, it was either team's game.

But Nevada guard Eathan O'Bryant broke open a 54-54 game by scoring eight consecutive points, including two three-point baskets, and the Wolf Pack went on a 15-2 run that led to a 95-82 Big West Conference victory over Cal State Fullerton Monday night at Titan Gym.

"Those two threes seemed to turn it around right there," said Nevada Coach Pat Foster. "Eathan played a great second half. I think we had a little more manpower, and I think we played about as good as we could play during that four or five-minute stretch in the second half."

Nevada made 12 of 20 three-point shots, including seven of 10 in the second half. O'Bryant finished with 23 points, 21 in the second half. Reserve guard Shawn Pughsley also was a big contributor in Nevada's three-point flurry, making six of 11 attempts and finishing with 18 points.

The Titans, 4-9 overall and 2-3 in the Big West Conference, were hurt by 39.5% shooting in the second half against the Wolf Pack (7-6, 4-2) despite a strong performance by guard James French. French, who has struggled through a slump almost all season, came out of it with nine field goals in 12 attempts and a total of 23 points, but it wasn't enough to save his team. Center Winston Peterson had 20.

The Titans shot 51.6% from the field in the first half with French and Chris Dade, who finished with 13 points, each going three for four. French had managed only five field goals in the first half in the previous 12 games.

The Titans were down, 32-26, before the guards brought them back to a 43-41 halftime lead. French and backup guard Chris St. Clair each had five points in the flurry late in the second half.

What appeared to be a good omen for the Titans turned sour in the second half.

The Wolf Pack led, 75-60, with about seven minutes left before the Titans managed to cut the deficit to 78-70 with 3:10 remaining.

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