With a chance to win the game on a last second, half-court shot, the Nevada women’s basketball team fell just short of pulling off a 23-point comeback at UNLV Wednesday night in a Governor’s Series matchup 77-75
The Wolf Pack (11-11, 4-7 MW) saved its best quarter of basketball for last, scoring a season-best 37 points in that frame to stake a ferocious comeback bid. The Pack had scored a combined 38 points in the previous three quarters and shot 24 percent in those 30 minutes. Other than the first period, where the Pack was outscored 23-10, the second and third were competitive as the Mountain West-leading Lady Rebels (14-8, 9-2 MW) outscored Nevada by just five points. Nevada used 68.4 percent (13-of-19) shooting in the fourth to start the comeback, including all four three-pointers it knocked down in the game.
UNLV, which led by 18 to start the final quarter, maintained a double-digit lead throughout most of the period, but the Wolf Pack kept chipping away at the deficit. It wasn’t until the 1:57 mark that Nevada got it to single digits when Teige Zeller grabbed her own rebound and laid the next shot up and in. The Lady Rebels stretched the lead back out to 10 when Nikki Wheatley sunk a pair of free throws, but that was the last double digit lead the UNLV in the game.
T Moe drew a foul call on the next Wolf Pack possession and hit both, making the deficit eight once again. A steal at midcourt by Jade Redmon gave the ball back to Nevada with 1:30 on the clock. Moe then took a pass from Janelle Sumilong and swished in a triple, cutting it to a five-point game. As the clock ticked to under a minute, UNLV again hit a pair of free throws but Nevada found ways to continue chipping away.
Down seven the Pack needed a big time shot and found it by way of a bank shot three-pointer by Camariah King. A layup on the other end of the floor however gave a little cushion to the Lady Rebels. With possession back to Nevada, Zeller was dominant in the paint, securing the bucket to get her team within four, 75-71, with 26 seconds on the clock. Not fouling on the ensuing UNLV possession worked out in Nevada’s favor as its pressure forced Brooke Johnson to step out of bounds with 16 ticks remaining.
A quick basket from Zeller and the Pack found itself really in striking distance, down by just two points. With a chance to put the game out of reach, UNLV’s Paris Strawther missed the front end of her foul shots, but hit the second, giving UNLV a three-point lead with 11 seconds left. Racing down the court Zeller once again bounced in a layup to bring the Pack within one single point. After a foul by Nevada, UNLV’s Katie Powell went 1-of-2 from the line to make it just a two-point game, 77-75. With 2.3 seconds on the clock, Moe took the inbound pass and heaved up a half-court shot for the win but came up just short.
Moe produced 20 points in the game, her first 20-point game since Nov. 14, 2014 when she scored 22 points at California. She had a solid game all-around as she added five rebounds and led the team with five assists. Zeller locked down her eighth double-double of the year, finishing with a team-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. It was Zeller’s fifth 20-point game of the season. AJ Cephas also scored in double figures, notching 12 points.
Nevada remains on the road this Saturday, Feb. 10 to face San Diego State at 1 p.m. from Viejas Arena.