By Nicole Skow
Nevada saw two more team wins at home with 10 players scoring in the 70- 66 win over Utah State on Wednesday and 11 players contributing points in the 84-65 victory against San Diego State on Saturday.
All the players on the women’s basketball team got involved. Its bench plays a huge role in each of its games. This week alone, the bench points swallowed the opponents’ numbers. Without those points, both games would have come down to the wire, especially against the Aztecs. But the contribution of almost every player helped secure the wins.
“That is really awesome for us because we have a lot of depth,” Nevada head coach Jane Albright said. “It’s not just our five starters or sixth man coming off the bench. We have a lot of depth on this team and when they come in and score those points for us it really benefits us in the long run.”
Against the Aggies, junior forward Aja Johnson recorded her first career double-double. Coming off the bench, she acted as a spark and secured the win by hitting one of her two free throws in the final seconds. Senior guard Arielle Wideman complimented Johnson and the presence she brings to games.
“She just comes in to do whatever she can,” Wideman said. “I told her she was playing great a couple weeks ago, and she just said she’s just trying to help the team any way she can. I think that she does that whenever she comes in. It really helps us out a lot.”
The starters also left their mark. Against the Aztecs, Sharp, Moe and Wideman scored 10 of the 11 threes to tie the school’s all-time record.
Wideman carried over her momentum from the Utah game where she scored the three-pointer that essentially won Nevada the game. Against SDSU, Wideman went 4-5 overall, but would have gone 4-4 if it had not been for a last second attempt at the end of the shot clock. Sharp started the game off slow, but lit up the court in the second half. She explained what is necessary for her to keep shooting, instead of slipping into a slump.
“I just have to keep that short-term memory and same mentality every time. Just shoot the ball,” she said. “I practice every day. I mean, first half was a little slow, but second half I knew I just had to hit one in order to get going.”
However, despite two fantastic wins, the Pack needs to work on keeping center Mimi Mungedi on the court rather than sitting on the bench. Against the Aztecs, her presence was definitely missed, as SDSU had powerful post players, as noted by assistant head coach Camille Williams.
“Without our presence in the middle, it diminishes a lot of what we’re trying to do defensively,” Williams said. “As you could see, she got back in, and (SDSU) started to miss those shots. But she got in foul trouble again. It makes a huge difference when she can play and not be in foul trouble.”
After this week, Nevada is now tied with Fresno State for third place in the conference. Williams looks ahead at what to expect from the Bulldogs.
“It came down to a close game here (against Fresno State), and I know they’re going to be on the attack at their place,” Williams said. “They just came off of a loss to San Jose State and they’re going to be hungry against us. It’s going to be a battle. It’s going to be tough, and we have to be ready. We have to be ready to compete. It’s going to be hard.”
The Pack hopes to continue its three game winning streak. It will be in action at Fresno on Wednesday and will return home to face New Mexico on Saturday.