Led by Dellena Criner's 21 points and double-digit rebounds by Cherlanda Franklin and Brandi Jones, the University of Nevada women's basketball team beat New Mexico State 61-55 Saturday afternoon at Lawlor Events Center.
With the win, Nevada improved to 7-8 overall and 2-0 in WAC play and opened WAC play with back-to-back wins for the third time in program history. With the loss, New Mexico State fell to 4-12 overall and 0-2 in WAC play.
Franklin, who grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, and Jones, who tied her career high with 11, each joined the 500 career rebound club against New Mexico State. Franklin has recorded 504 career rebounds while Jones has recorded 503. They are the 11th and 12th players in program history to record at least 500 career rebounds. They are both on pace to break into the career top-10 in rebounding as KaTrina Crenshaw (1994-97) is 10th on the career rebounding list with 512 career rebounds.
New Mexico State jumped out to an early 8-2 lead as all of their first eight points were scored by Danisha Corbett. However, the Pack went on a 15-2 run with 8:50 left to go ahead 17-10.
The Aggies pulled to within one, 17-16, with 7:17 left in the half but the Pack used a 7-1 run to extend its lead to 24-17 with 4:26 remaining on a jumper by Jones. Nevada had a six-point lead at the half, 28-22.
Nevada shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) from the floor in the first half while New Mexico State shot 30.0 percent (9-of-30). Criner led Nevada at the half with eight points.
A three-pointer by Dellena Criner with 18:42 left to play put Nevada ahead by 13, 35-22. The Aggies cut the lead to six with 15:56 remaining but the Pack 13-0 run to extend its lead to 19 points in a three pointer by Criner with 11:16 left.
New Mexico State cut the lead to four, 57-53, with 2:32 left to play but Nevada went on to post the 61-56 victory.
Criner scored a game-high 21 points including three three-point shots. Franklin and Marissa Hammond each added eight points. As a team the Pack grabbed 52 rebounds to the Aggies' 31.
As a team, the Pack shot 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from the floor while the Aggies shot 32.3 percent (20-of-62).
The Pack will play its next three games on the road starting with a game at Utah State on Wednesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. MT. The Pack will play Hawai`i in Honolulu on Saturday, January 17 at 4 p.m. HT. Nevada will play at San Jose State on Sunday, January 25 at 2 p.m.