The Nevada Wolf Pack women’s basketball team lost a pair of conference nail biters to Boise State and Air Force. Nevada has improved from a disastrous start to the season, but they’ve failed to close out games during the final minutes. The Pack fell to 5-12 overall and 1-5 in conference play this season.
Jan. 16 vs. Boise State
Despite a ferocious comeback in the second half, Nevada simply ran out of time against Boise State. Camariah King’s three-pointer cut the lead to one just as the horn sounded and sealed their 75-74 defeat to the Broncos.
The Pack had their best offensive performance of the year, shooting a season-high 52 percent from the floor. Four players scored in double-figures for the fourth time this season, including senior guard Jade Redmon. Redmon’s 16 points put over over 1,000 for her collegiate career, she played two seasons at Eastern Washington before transferring to Nevada. Terae Briggs’ team-high 17 points eclipsed 800 for her career in the silver and blue, she also added a career-high four steals.
The Broncos displayed their physical play for much of the first half, as forwards A’Shanti Coleman and Joyce Harrell battled down low and scored easy layups in the paint courtesy of several second chance opportunities. The Wolf Pack shot a dreadful 1-10 in the second quarter, but found their rhythm with streaky shooting from the outside and picking up six points from the free-throw line. Boise State ended the quarter on a 6-0 run and led 31-21 heading into the second half.
A much improved effort by the Pack helped cut their double-digit deficit in the third quarter. Nevada hustled for loose balls and tallied four offensive rebounds, adding to a blistering 83 percent shooting from the field. Timely baskets from Riley Lupfer helped the Broncos stretch their lead to 13, but the Pack responded with a 10-2 run fueled by Da’Ja Hamilton’s mid-range jumper and two baskets from Briggs on the low block. Nevada trailed by just five points heading into the final quarter of play.
Both teams went back-and-forth to start the fourth, Nevada went scoreless for three minutes and Boise State built their lead back up to eight with five minutes left. Back-to-back threes from King and Redmon’s layup in the open court made it a four-point game with under two minutes to play. The Pack missed on their ensuing possession and were forced to play the foul game. Broncos guard Braydey Hodgins sunk a pair of free throws and King’s third three-pointer of the night made it a one-point loss at the buzzer.
Jan. 19 Vs. Air Force
A full team-effort wasn’t enough for the Wolf Pack, as Air Force outscored Nevada 14-9 in overtime to close out a 79-74 loss. All 10 Wolf Pack players saw time on the floor and outscored Air Force 32-19 in bench points, but the starters couldn’t carry their hot first-half performance for the rest of the game. Nevada is now 1-2 in overtime games this season.
The Wolf Pack shot 42 percent from the floor and just 18 percent from behind the arc. Jade Redmon scored a team-high 18 points and six rebounds, she’s scored in double-figures in 14 games this season. Terae Briggs recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Nevada jumped out to a 15-7 first quarter lead with the inside presence of Briggs and guard Amaya West. They held the Falcons to 21 percent shooting for the quarter, but two free throw line jumpers from Riley Snyder kept Air Force in the game. She scored six of her game-high 22 points in the first 10 minutes of action.
Air Force responded with a 22-point second quarter highlighted by four three pointers. A set of ball screens freed sharp-shooting guard Emily Conroe behind the arc, she nailed two threes off of wide-open contests. Nevada tightened up with tough perimeter defense and found timely offense from freshman guard Da’Ja Hamilton and Essence Booker off the bench. Both players provided a spark with easy layups inside and quick passes in the open court. Nevada held a slim 31-29 lead at the half.
Balanced play on both ends of the floor helped the Falcons steal a second-half lead. Snyder’s left-handed layup pushed their lead up to eight with under five minutes left in the contest. Back-to-back threes from Hamilton and Camariah King trimmed the Pack’s deficit to just two points. Both teams went back-and-forth until Briggs’ layup in the paint tied the game at 65 and brought the game into overtime.
The Pack scored first in OT with another Briggs layup, but Air Force was too much to handle. The Falcons coasted on a 6-2 run with off a pair of mid-range jumpers from Conroe Kassady Huffman brought the lead to 73-69 with under two minutes left. Redmon sunk a pair of free throws to bring the deficit to two points, but Air Force striped six points from the line to seal the Pack’s defeat.
The Wolf Pack play Colorado State Wednesday, Jan. 23 in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Rams are 1-4 in conference play this season.
Isaiah Burrows can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.