The Nevada Women’s Basketball failed to overcome a 21-point fourth quarter deficit losing 71-59 to Utah State. Nevada loses their second consecutive contest dropping them to 10-17 overall and 6-10 in conference play.
Mikayla Christian led all Wolf Pack players putting up a season-high 13 points on 5-9 shooting from the field, including two threes. One other player reached double figures for Nevada, as Essence Booker — who is coming off a career-high 13 points — tallied ten points on 3-of-6 shooting. Booker has produced double-digit points in three of the last four contests.
Jade Redmon scored eight points, ending her 23-game double digit point streak. Redmon is still averaging 15.4 points per game during league play, and 14.6 points per game on the season.
Utah State outscored Nevada 10-2 on the fastbreak. Heading into Saturday’s contest, halting Utah State’s fastbreak opportunities was a key for Nevada head coach Amanda Levins.
Nevada shot their lowest shooting percentage since Jan. 19 against San Jose State, shooting 36.2 percent from the floor, making five threes on 17 attempts.
The Pack got out to a slow start to begin Saturday’s contest as they failed to notch a score on the scoreboard in their first five possessions because of lackluster offensive play, turning over the ball on three times. Utah State got out to a 5-0 lead, but a three from Christian tied the ballgame at five. Utah State took command of the lead with 55 ticks remaining in the first quarter and never looked back.
Utah State shot a hot 3-of-4 from deep in the first quarter. After not making any of their five attempts in Las Vegas, they made two of their four attempts in the first quarter, which kept them in the contest.
Things appeared to be getting away from the Pack in the second quarter as they missed their first seven shots. Utah State opened up the quarter on a 14-3 run, giving them a 31-18 lead with 2:46 remaining.
A fastbreak and-one layup by Mikayla Christian gave the Pack their first made basket of the second quarter, bringing Nevada within 12 points. A three from Camariah King brought the deficit to within single digits, but a made layup by Utah State at the buzzer extended the lead to 35-24 heading into halftime.
Nevada really struggled knocking down shots against Utah State’s 2-3 zone, shooting 25 percent from the field in the first half. Nevada entered Saturday’s contest as the worst three-point shooting team in the Mountain West shooting 27.3 percent from the season, but shot 38 percent from deep in the first half.
The deficit hung around the eight to 12 points until Booker’s only three of the game cut the lead to within five. A 8-1 response by the Aggies with five points courtesy of Rachel Brewster increased the lead back to double digits.
The Pack kept clawing back putting full court pressure defensively led to an easy steal-and-score by Christian, cutting the lead to four points with 2:15 remaining. Utah State led 53-41 at the end of the third quarter, finishing with an 8-0 run.
The Aggies carried their momentum into the final period — delivering the knockout punch — going on a 14-5 run in the first five and a half minutes, extending their lead to 21 points. The Pack put together a late rally, but it was not enough.
Nevada Women’s Basketball holds their senior night on Monday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m as they host Air Force.
Matt Hanifan can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.