Nevada Wolf Pack Women’s Basketball got its four game win streak broken on Jan. 27 against the UNLV Rebels, losing 92-47 in the first Silver State rivalry game of the season.
Nevada opened the game trailing close behind UNLV, as the team fell to a 6-2 deficit at the first media timeout with 6:56 left in the opening quarter. This changed once play started back up, as UNLV went on a 12-0 run before the Wolf Pack women were able to get another score on the board. Nevada only scored one free throw while the Rebels tacked on eight more points, leaving the game at 25-5 UNLV after the first quarter.
Audrey Roden, Nevada guard, became the shining light of the Wolf Pack in the second quarter, scoring eight points on 4-8 shooting. This would not be backed up by the rest of the team, as the rest of Nevada scored a combined five points on 2-9 shooting from the field and 1-2 from the stripe.
Meanwhile, the Rebels continued their first quarter dominance. Nevada struggled to shift the momentum, as the team struggled to hold off UNLV’s advances. The Rebels scored 24 points in the second quarter, shooting 8-14 from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line. As both teams went into the locker room, Nevada was down 49-18.
Coming back from halftime, the Wolf Pack seemed to find a bit more of their footing offensively. Roden tacked on six more points and three rebounds while Lexie Givens, Nevada forward, had four points herself. Other members of the team, such as Izzy Sullivan and Victoria Davis, Nevada guards, and Natalie Lathrop, Nevada forward, helped the team score 17 points in the third, the most scored in any quarter by Nevada during the game.
Counteracting the boom in Nevada’s offense was their defensive woes that continued to plague them in the third quarter. UNLV would negate any progress the Pack would make; with every score, the Rebels answered back with a basket or a run of scores. The Rebels grew their lead by seven in the penultimate quarter of the game, leaving Nevada down 73-35 with 10 minutes left.
The Wolf Pack women fought with UNLV to open the fourth, trading baskets and free throws to bring the lead below 40 points for the first three minutes of the quarter. This would change once the Rebels got the lead back to 40 points with 6:45 left, as Nevada was unable to bring the lead down further than 44 for the rest of the game.
With UNLV finishing the game going on a 13-8 run, the Pack wound up on the losing end of their first matchup with their in-state rivals 92-47. This game marks the worst loss from women’s basketball against UNLV in recent memory; beating last season’s 84-47 loss to the Rebels in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference championships.
Nevada’s performance can be chalked down to two things: inability to score when needed and a horrible defensive presence. Besides Roden and Lathop, no player on Nevada shot had a shooting percentage above 25% or had eight or more points. In comparison, during each game of their four game win streak, Nevada had at least three players shoot better than 25% and score more than eight.
On top of their offensive woes, the Wolf Pack women’s defensive play did not help in the slightest either. The UNLV Rebels were able to shoot 53.9% from the field and 38.1% from three-point range against the Pack. Going back to the winning streak, Nevada held their opponents to 36.58% from the field and 24.32% from deep over their previous four games.
Letting any team shoot 17.32% and 13.78% better respectively than what other team’s have been able to in the last five games is abysmal, and needs to be solved if the Pack has any hope for a successful postseason.
With the road game blunder behind them, the Wolf Pack women’s next match up will be at home, where they will take on the Utah State Aggies (3-16, 0-8 MWC) on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Derek Raridon can be reached via email email@example.com or via Twitter @TheBigCountry14