To open the match, Nevada took to the court with a line-up comprising of Essence Booker, Da’ja Hamilton, Alyssa Jimenez, Marguerite Effa and Nia Alexander. Booker was named as an All-Mountain West honorable mention honoree.
Nevada and New Mexico traded blows to open the tournament match-up. As the first five minutes came to a close, Nevada and New Mexico tied the game up at eight apiece
The Lobos and Wolf Pack continued to nip at each other’s heel through much of the first quarter.
New Mexico began to pull away from the Pack when Jaedyn De La Cerda hit a three-pointer with 1:07 left to play in the quarter. The score made it a Lobos, 19-12 lead.
With just under five seconds left to play in the quarter, Nevada got the ball back off of a steal from Amaya West. The Pack rushed up the court, hoping for a buzzer-beater. Hamilton connected on a long three-point shot, cutting the Lobos lead to 21-15.
New Mexico hit the first basket of the second quarter, extending their lead by two.
The Wolf Pack battled back with a 5-0 run, starting at the eight-minute mark. Booker connected on a three-point shot to cut the Lobos lead to five. The streak was ended when the Lobos responded with a three-point shot of their own. With 5:48 to play, Corina Carter hit from deep to make it a 28-22 Lobos lead.
Nevada again went on a small run as the second quarter played out, going on a 13-2 run, starting at the 4:10 mark in the second quarter. New Mexico ended the streak with 54 seconds left in the half off of a pair of free-throw shots from Antonia Anderson
In the waning second of the half, New Mexico began to battle back. De La Creda hit on a layup to give the Lobos back the lead.
At the half, New Mexico narrowly leads the Pack, 37-36.
Throughout the first half, both teams struggled with securing the ball in stretches. Between the two Mountain West foes, the first half saw 20 turnovers, with 11 going to the Lobos.
The Lobos struck first in the second half, off of a De La Creda layup with just under a minute off the clock. The lead didn’t last long, as Nevada’s Jimenez connected on a three-point shot from beyond the arc to tie the game at 39 apiece.
New Mexico took back the lead with just under eight minutes to play. Aisia Robertson connected on 1-2 of her free throw attempts to push the Lobos lead to one.
The Lobos went back on the offensive mid-way through the quarter, going on a 6-2 run between the 6:30 and 5:12 minute marks in the quarter. The run propelled the Lobos to a 48-44 lead over the Pack.
West sparked a Nevada 11-0 run that lasted from the 3:32 mark of the third quarter and ran right up until the end of the quarter. The Lobos broke the Nevada run as time expired off of a layup from Shaiquel McGruder.
Heading into the final quarter of play, Nevada led 55-54.
Just like in the previous two quarters, the Lobos struck first, off of a shot from beyond the arch from Ahlise Hurst. Nevada didn’t let the play go unanswered, as Hamilton hit a three-point shot on the following possession.
Nevada went on the defensive for much of the fourth quarter, content with milking the clock as much as possible. Between 6:41 through 5:17, Nevada was able to control the clock and go on a 5-0 run at the same time. The Lobos took another minute before they scored again, hitting a two-point layup with 4:04 left to play.
To close out the match, Nevada went on a 7-0 run over the final two minutes.
The Wolf Pack defeat the Lobos by a 10 point margin, 74-64.
Nevada will now move on to play No. 1 seeded, Fresno State on March 2.
Ryan Freeberg and Matt Hanifan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SagebrushSports.