A season-low 11 turnovers were not enough for the Nevada women’s basketball team to take down Fresno State Wednesday night in Mountain West action, falling 67-59.
The ultimate difference maker proved to be trailing 23-16 heading into the second quarter. The final three quarters were played at just a one-point differential as the Bulldogs (7-7, 3-0 MW) had the edge 44-43. Nevada (1-13, 0-3 MW) did not lead in the game, but nearly erased a 16-point deficit late in the third.
Th...e Wolf Pack defense tightened up after allowing the Bulldogs to shoot 62.5 percent (10-of-16) in the opening quarter. Fresno State finished the quarter converting seven of its last nine shot attempts. Nevada held its opponent to 31.4 percent (11-of-35) shooting in the second half.
In the third quarter and down by as many as 16 at the halfway point of the period, the Wolf Pack embarked on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to seven, 51-44, and force the Bulldogs to call a timeout. Nevada hit 5-of-5 during that stretch and held Fresno State scoreless for three and a half minutes.
The closest the Pack would get in the final quarter was three points after freshman MorningRose Tobey hit a pair of free throws. With 7:45 left on the clock, Nevada had plenty of time to take over the lead but the Bulldogs hit key shots when they needed to, capped off by a three-pointer by Moriah Faulk that extended the Fresno State lead back to double digits, 65-55, with just over four to play.
Junior Stephanie Schmid finished with a game-high 18 points and no turnovers. Sophomore Teige Zeller had established a new career-high last weekend at Wyoming and followed that up by re-establishing a new career-high, scoring 12 points. Freshman Riana Everidge was the only other member of the Wolf Pack to tally points in double figures with 11 after knocking down 5-of-6 from the field.
Overall the Pack enjoyed one of its best offensive performances of the season, shooting 47.2 percent (25-of-53) for the game, seven percent higher than its opponent. The contest did not feature many trips to the free throw line as the two teams attempted just seven foul shots each. With 12 assists and 11 turnovers, Nevada posted its first game of the season with a positive assist to turnover ratio.
Nevada concludes this short two-game home stand this Saturday, Jan. 9 with a 4 p.m. conference contest against Air Force. Saturday’s game is the team’s ‘Awaken’ game, raising awareness to end sex trafficking.