The University of Nevada women’s basketball team overcame a slow start and used solid free throw shooting in the final seconds of the game to down UC Riverside, 52-47 Sunday afternoon at Lawlor Events Center.
With the win, Nevada improved to 6-5 on the year while UC Riverside fell to 3-7.
The Pack led 4-0 early on a layup by Cherlanda Franklin and a pair of free throws from Brandi Jones but the Highlanders up ahead by six, 18-12, with 3:04 remaining. UC Riverside took a 21-18 lead at the half.
Both teams shot under 30 percent from the floor in the first half. The Pack shot 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from the floor while the Highlanders shot 25.3 percent (8-of-34).
Nevada came out in the second half on a 10-to-2 run and went ahead by seven, 30-23, with 15:55 remaining. The Pack extended its lead to 10, 40-30, on a jumper by Marissa Hammond.
UC Riverside pulled to within two, 47-45, with 50 second left in the game but the Pack went 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the final 34 seconds of the game to secure the 52-47 win.
Dellena Criner led Nevada with 15 points while Shavon Moore added eight points and a team-high nine rebounds. Guards Megan Cherry (eight points) and Nicole Williams (five points) each recorded career highs for the Pack.
Nevada ended the game shooting 38.8 percent (19-of-49) from the floor while UC Riverside finished the game shooting 29.8 percent (17-of-57).
"The key in this game was UC Riverside had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half so they were getting more chances than we were,” Nevada head coach Jane Albright said. “At halftime we told them we know what we need to do to win and we’ll either be 5-6 or 6-5.”
Nevada will closeout non-conference play at the Lady Griz Holiday Classic hosted by Montana, December 29-30. The Pack will play Hampton on December 29 at 7 p.m. MT and will play host Montana on December 30 at 7 p.m. MT.