The University of Nevada women's basketball team closed out a two-game home stand with a 69-66 loss to New Mexico Saturday afternoon at Lawlor Events Center.
With the loss, Nevada drops to (6-14, 1-6 MW) on the season while New Mexico improves to (11-9, 3-4 MW).
New Mexico raced out to a 10-3 lead to start the game. Nevada junior Amber Smith knocked down a three pointer at the 7:10 mark to pull within one point of New Mexico at 19-18. Sophomore Emily Burns tied the game at 19-19 with a made free throw on the following possession. Wolf Pack junior Danika Sharp's basket with four minutes left in the half gave the team its first lead at 22-21. The two teams entered the half tied at 28-28. Smith led Nevada in the opening half with seven points.
Back to back baskets by freshman Nyasha Lesure and Emily Burns gave Nevada a 32-28 lead out of the intermission. A layup by senior guard Chanelle Brennan extended the Wolf Pack lead to 42-36 with 14:10 to play. Nevada used a strong defensive effort to build its biggest lead of the game at 46-37 at the 13:08 mark. New Mexico fought back to get within three points of Nevada at 53-50 with eight minutes to go in the game. Lobos forward Sara Halasz gave her team a 56-55 lead, before Emily Burns connected on a jump shot to put the Wolf Pack back up 57-56.
Amber Smith's basket with five minutes on the clock gave the forward a career high of 13 points and stretched the Nevada lead to 59-56. New Mexico took a 62-61 lead on a basket by Deeva Vaughn with 1:58 on the clock. Danika Sharp tied the game at 64-64 with a shot from beyond the three point line. The guard was fouled in the act of shooting and converted a four-point play with a made free throw to put Nevada up 65-64 with a minute left in regulation. New Mexico reclaimed a 69-66 lead, leaving Nevada with one final possession to tie it with 10 seconds left. Chanelle Brennan got off an attempt that bounced off the rim to give the Lobos a 69-66 win.
Amber Smith led Nevada with 13 points. Arielle Wideman finished the game with 12 points and eight assists. Nevada outrebounded New Mexico 45-35. The difference in the game came down to free throws as Nevada shot 9-21 to 15-19 for New Mexico. Emily Burns and Danika Sharp each had nine points.
Nevada will begin a two-game road trip next week with a game at Colorado State Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m.