Despite a valiant comeback effort by the Nevada women’s basketball team in the second half, the Wolf Pack came up just short to San Diego State, 83-78.
The Wolf Pack (6-8, 0-3 MW) outscored the Aztecs (6-7, 1-1 MW) 43-31 in the second half but after trailing by 19 at halftime, it was not enough to secure the comeback. Senior Stephanie Schmid poured in her second-most points of the season with a game-high 26 after connecting on 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Riana Everidge tied her season high and fell one point shy of her career high with a 19-point effort tonight off the bench. Fellow sophomore AJ Cephas also reached double figures with 10 points.
The Pack led early, 8-2, but the Aztecs, who normally shoot 29 percent from beyond the arc, connected on six straight three-pointers in the first quarter to take a double digit lead. SDSU also had the advantage from the free throw line and was sent to the line 10 times, making eight. Despite the 12-point deficit after the first, Nevada still shot 56 percent (9-of-16) in the period.
Nevada was outscored in the second quarter by just five, but went from 56 percent shooting to 24 percent (5-of-21). The Pack ended the second period connecting on just 2-of-12 from the field. In the first half, the Aztecs hit 69 percent (9-of-13) from the three-point line and more than half of their field goals made were from beyond the arc.
Nevada’s comeback effort began in the third quarter after going on a 9-2 run midway through the period. Schmid started to heat up when her fourth long ball, with under five to play in the third, cut the deficit to 11 after the Pack began the second half down by 17. Nevada’s next bucket, also a three by Schmid, got it to within single digits for the first time since the opening quarter. The Pack outscored its opposition 26-17 in the third quarter thanks to 53 percent shooting and kept SDSU to just one three-point attempt.
With just over five to play in the game, Everidge layed it up and in and drew the foul call. She missed her free throw attempt but the offensive board was grabbed by Cephas, keeping possession with Nevada. On that same possession, Schmid hit a short jumper that cut the lead to just six for the Aztecs. From there both teams went a little cold from the field over the next couple of minutes. After a pair of free throws by T Moe with 1:20 left on the clock cut it to an 82-77 SDSU lead, just two more points would be scored in the game on a free throw by each side. Nevada possessed the ball with 50 seconds remaining but could not hit its shots down the stretch, giving SDSU the win.
For the game, Nevada shot 41.8 percent (28-of-67) and hit nine three-point shots. The Wolf Pack, which ranks second in the Mountain West in free throw percentage, connected on 76.5 percent (13-of-17) tonight. Nevada also set a season-low with 13 turnovers. Sophomore Terae Briggs fell two points shy of her second consecutive double-double after scoring eight points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Moe dished out seven assists in the loss, second-most of the season.
Nevada returns home to host New Mexico this Saturday, Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. from Lawlor Events Center. The game will serve as the team’s annual Samaritan’s Feet game.