Nevada Women’s Basketball came away with a .500 record following their two games against Utah and Portland State, putting up one W in the win column for first-year head coach Amanda Levens and her ’17-’18 Wolf Pack team.
Nevada vs. Utah
For the team’s first game of the season, the Pack traveled to Salt Lake City, UT, on Nov. 10 to take on the Utah Utes. The Pack was only down by 10 going into the half, but Utah didn’t let up after the break, defeating Nevada 87-61.
During the first half of the game, Nevada shot an outstanding percentage from three, going 4 for 5 on their attempts outside the arc. Along with being locked in from deep, the Pack also shot 80 percent from the line as well. Looks like that win the game part of practice is actually paying off. The biggest problem for Nevada in the first half was the team’s inability to take care of the basketball. Turnovers were plentiful, with Nevada losing the ball on 13 separate possessions, four of which came from redshirt sophomore Camariah King. Nevada also only converted on 33 percent of its shots from the field, which was not far behind the Utes’ 37.8 percent from the field, but Utah also had 16 more shots on basket then Nevada during the first half.
Following halftime, Nevada adapted well to the mistakes the team made in the previous half. The Pack won the turn over battle, only giving the ball away six times compared to Utah’s nine, recorded three more steals and put up four more shots from the field. While the Pack did improve its shooting percentage from the first half to the second, it wasn’t a large enough enhancement to help them win the game. The Pack put up 35 points, to Utah’s 51 in the second half, losing its first game of the season 87-61.
Nevada vs. Portland State
Just two days after the team’s loss to the Utes, the Pack found its way back home to start off its seven-game home-stand with a game against Portland State. Nevada outscored Portland State in both halves of play, but especially during the first, giving themselves a nine-point cushion going into halftime. The Pack went on to outscore Portland State by three points in the second, defeating the Vikings 67-55.
Nevada’s first half against Portland State featured a far better shooting percentage from the field then its game against Utah, converting on 15 of its 30 attempts. The Pack killed it in the turn over battle, only allowing four possessions to get away from them, ripping the ball away from the Vikings on seven occasions and forcing Portland State to turn the ball over three other times. The Pack didn’t shoot its best from the free throw line, leaving a hefty helping of cheese and lettuce at the line only hitting 55.6 percent of their freebies.
While the Pack did win the game, Nevada’s second-half performance was nothing short of atrocious. Had the Viking’s second half been a smidge better this game could have very well went in Portland State’s favor. The Pack shot 31.8 percent from the field going seven for 22, shot just 14.3 percent from beyond the arc and gave away the ball 18 times. In any other game, those 18 turnovers in one half could very well be the difference between a loss and a win. Luckily for Nevada Portland State shot an even worse percentage from the field in the second half and gave the ball back to Nevada on thirteen possessions. Nevada outscored Portland State by three points in the second, bringing their total to 67, in the team’s 12-point victory at home over the Vikings.
After Leven’s first win as a head coach, she was extremely humble in the win, by giving credit to the team and not herself.
“I’m just really happy for the team to be honest,” Levens said. “They’ve worked really really hard and met every challenge we’ve put in front of them. I’m just happy for them that they get to feel this. As a program, we’re trying to sustain success so the only way you can do that is one piece at a time.”
The Pack will continue its seven-game home-stand against Pepperdine University on Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m.