A 65-56 loss to Central Arkansas by the Nevada women’s basketball team ended its run in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) in Saturday’s semifinals.
The loss marked the end of an incredible run by the Wolf Pack to close the season. In its last nine games Nevada put together seven wins, including three in the Mountain West Tournament and two over instate rival UNLV. After its end of the season run the Pack finishes the 2017-18 season with a 19-17 record, its first winning season since 2013-14. Nevada’s 19 wins this year are tied for second most of all-time. Amanda Levens also became the winningest first year head coach in program history with win No. 19.
In the game the Sugar Bears (24-9) led for most of the contest but did not build more than a nine point lead. UCA got off to a hot start, building a 12-4 advantage before the first timeout. The Pack played solid though coming out of the timeout to trim the deficit to 15-10 after the first quarter. The Central Arkansas defense, which ranks second in the nation in scoring defense, held Nevada to just 29.4 percent shooting in the first.
The second quarter flipped the script as the Pack offense connected on more than 50 percent of its shots and the Sugar Bears hit under 30 percent of theirs. Nevada was able to tie the game at 16 early in the second on a layup by junior Terae Briggs, but could not find a way to gain the lead. UCA and Nevada often traded baskets back and forth, keeping UCA ahead by mostly two to three points as the quarter went on.
Nevada secured its first lead of the game early into the start of the third quarter, scoring the first six points of the period and forcing UCA to call a timeout with the Pack ahead 30-27. After the two teams traded a pair of free throws, a triple by the Sugar Bears tied the game up once more. With 6:46 left in the third, a free throw by senior Teige Zeller put Nevada ahead but that was the last time the Pack would lead. On the next UCA possession, a layup by Kamry Orr gave the lead back to the Sugar Bears for good.
As the third quarter drew to a close, Nevada found itself trailing by nine. A couple of jumpers by Camariah King and Jade Redmon cut the deficit to five heading into the final quarter. The first two minutes of the fourth went scoreless until UCA’s Kierra Jordan broke the scoreless drought. The Sugar Bears were able to hold off the Pack offense from getting any closer than four points the rest of the game, sending them to the championship game of the WBI.
Zeller led the Pack in scoring with 17 points and fell two rebounds shy of her 13th double-double of the season. Senior T Moe reached double figures in her final collegiate game, adding 10 points. The Pack shot 44.2 percent for the game but took just four three-point attempts, its lowest of the season. Nevada connected on 9-of-14 from the free throw line while UCA hit 17-of-23.
The Sugar Bears will now host Yale in the WBI Championship game next Wednesday.
-Nevada was eliminated from the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) Saturday after a 65-56 loss at Central Arkansas. The Wolf Pack’s two postseason wins this year are the most in a single season. With a game on March 24, this is the latest into a season the Pack had ever been.
-The Wolf Pack finishes the 2017-18 season with a 19-17 record, its first winning season and highest win total in four years. The Pack’s 19 wins are tied for second most in program history. Amanda Levens finishes her first season as the winningest first year head coach in program history.
-Senior Teige Zeller passed Shavon Moore on the all-time rebounding list and finishes her career in fifth. Zeller led the team in scoring on Saturday with 17 points and will finish her career with 972 points.
-Fellow senior T Moe, who began her collegiate career in 2012, added 10 points in her final game and finishes her career with 1,129 points, seventh-most all-time.
-Nevada turned the ball over just eight times in the game and forced the Sugar Bears into 14 turnovers.
-Central Arkansas hit 17-of-23 free throws while Nevada was sent to the line just 14 times, making nine.
-Nevada took just four three-point attempts in the game, its lowest of the season.
-Saturday’s contest was the first played between Nevada and Central Arkansas in program history.
Nevada Press Release