A complete team effort led the University of Nevada women's basketball team to a 76-53 Mountain West opening victory Saturday afternoon at Clune Arena.
All 10 Wolf Pack (5-7, 1-0 MW) student-athletes who saw minutes in the game registered points on the stat sheet, led by junior Nyasha LeSure. Coming off the bench, LeSure established a new career-high with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line. Anna Cameron and Ashlee Jones also reached double figures as Cameron's 55 percent shooting led to 14 points and Jones tied her career-best with 11.
It was a dominant opening half for the Wolf Pack, shooting 47 percent on offense and holding the Falcons (1-12, 0-2 MW) to just 20 percent. Air Force hung with Nevada through the midway mark of the first half, pulling it to a 14-10 game after the Pack went on a five minute scoring draught.
At the eight minute mark of the half, it was all Nevada from there on out, outscoring the opposition 21-4 in the remainder of the period. The Wolf Pack defense kept the Falcons off the board for the final 4:24 and got two three-pointers from sophomore Ashlee Jones in the final minute to send Nevada into halftime ahead 37-14.
It was a different story for the Falcons in the second half of play, playing on more of an even level with the Pack as both teams registered 39 points in the half. Air Force began the period on a 10-4 run before the first media timeout and kept up that momentum for much of the early goings of the half.
The home team was able to close the gap to 14 points with just over eight minutes to play before Nevada began to pull away once more. A layup inside the paint by Aja Johnson put the Pack ahead by 20 once again with 7:09 remaining, all but securing the win.
Nevada set season-highs in both assists (20) and field goal percentage (49.2). Along with all 10 players scoring points, all 10 also recorded at least one assist. Johnson tallied four steals, a career-high figure and added six points and nine rebounds to her day. Fellow senior Kayla Reeves notched her first career point with a free throw in the first half and added a career-best three assists.
Head coach Jane Albright is now eight wins shy of establishing the 500-win plateau for her 31-year coaching career.
Nevada opens the home portion of its Mountain West schedule this Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m. for a Governor's Series contest against in-state rival UNLV. The Wolf Pack currently leads the series over the Rebels 7.5-4.5.