The Nevada women’s basketball used its stifling defense to take down the Santa Clara Broncos (4-6) on Saturday, 52-41. With the win, the Wolf Pack improves to 7-4 heading into Mountain West play, which is the team’s best non-league mark since the 2010-11 squad went 11-2.

The Pack held the Broncos to 35.0 percent shooting on the day. Sophomore Camariah King led all scorers with a game-high 13 points, connecting on four three pointers in the process. Junior AJ Cephas finished the game with 10 points and one rebound shy of her first double-double of the season, while sophomore Kristin Dearth recorded a career-high six points, all from the free throw line. Head coach Amanda Levens is the first first-year head coach to lead the Wolf Pack to a winning nonconference record in program history.

Nevada set the tone defensively early on, forcing two quick turnovers in the first 1:30 of the game and a total of six in the first quarter. After Cephas scored the first points of the game for the Pack, Nevada went on a 7-0 run that was capped off with King’s first triple of the game. With Nevada on top 7-3 coming out of the first media timeout, the Wolf Pack’s defense began to settle in as the team held the Broncos scoreless for nearly four minutes, which helped give Nevada a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Following a slow start on the offensive end from both sides to begin the second frame, Dearth drained a pair of free throws to push the Pack’s lead to seven at the 5:16 mark. Nevada’s defense continued to cause troubles for the Broncos as Nevada forced 14 total turnover midway through the second quarter. Coming out of the media timeout, King sank her second three of the game to push Nevada’s advantage the half.

The Pack came out of the locker room, scoring two of its first three baskets to force the Broncos to call their first time out of the game with Nevada leading by 12, 29-17. Santa Clara responded with a 7-2 run of its own to cut the Pack lead back to single digits at the media timeout. After senior T Moe converted an and-one, Nevada found itself on top by 13 points. By the time the third quarter was finished, Nevada was on an 11-1 run and holding an 18-points advantage, its largest lead of the game at the time.

Though Santa Clara did its best to fight back, outscoring Nevada 16-9 in the fourth quarter, the deficit was too much to overcome, as the Pack sealed the 52-41 victory. Up next, Nevada will open up Mountain West play when it welcomes Fresno State to Lawlor Events Center on Dec. 28. Tipoff for the matchup is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT.

Postgame Notes

  • Head coach Amanda Levens is the first first-year head coach to lead the Wolf Pack to a winning nonconference record in program history.
  • The four-game winning streak the Pack is currently on is the longest winning streak since the 2013-14 season, when the team won five straight.
  • Santa Clara scored 17 first half points, which is the second fewest first half points Nevada has allowed this season. The Pack held Montana State to 13 first half points. Nevada also held Santa Clara to single digits in three out of four quarters.
  • Sophomore Kirstin Dearth scored a career-high six points, all of which came from the free throw line.
  • 12 of the 13 points that sophomore Camariah King scored came from beyond the arc.

Nevada Press Release