Brandi Jones and Johnna Ward led five Nevada players in double figures as the University of Nevada women’s basketball team downed St. Mary’s 99-91 Sunday afternoon in Lawlor Events Center.
With the win, Nevada improved to 2-3 while St. Mary’s fell to 0-5. The 99 points scored by Nevada was the most points scored by the Pack since the team scored 104 in a 104-97 win over U.S. International on March 1, 1986.
Johnna Ward’s three pointer with 14:25 left in the first half put the Pack up 15-8 before Marissa Hammond's fast-break layup with 10:37 remaining in the first half gave Nevada a 26-19 lead. Brittany Woodard hit a three with 1:29 left in the half to give Nevada a 14-point lead, 55-41, and the Pack went into half ahead 59-45.
Nevada shot 47.6 percent (20-of-42) from the floor in the first half and 70.0 percent (14-of-20) from the free throw line. St. Mary’s shot 54.1 percent (20-of-37) from the floor in the first half.
In the second half, the Pack led by 18, 63-45, early in the half before the Gales battled back and cut the lead to two, 70-68, with 10:45 left in the game. A three-point play by Shavon Moore with 5:56 left in the game put Nevada up 84-78. St. Mary’s again cut the Pack’s lead to two, 88-86, with just over three minutes left but a pair of three pointers from Ward and Moore down the stretch helped Nevada secure the win.
“I am inspired by this team and this was the exact kind of game we needed,” head coach Jane Albright said. “We had a lot of senior leadership today and they pushed us.”
Dellena Criner posted a double double in the win, 14 point and a career-high 13 assists, and was two rebounds away from a triple double. Ward and Jones each added 17 points while Criner and Franklin each added 14. Hammond recorded 11 for the Pack. Jones, Criner and Franklin each added eight rebounds for Nevada.
Maija Lahde led three St. Mary’s players in double figures with 22 points.
Nevada will host the Nugget Classic Friday and Saturday at Lawlor Events Center. Nevada will take on Northern Iowa on Friday at 5 p.m. followed by #9/10 Louisville and Alabama at 7 p.m. The consolation game is Saturday at 5 p.m. followed by the championship game at 7 p.m.