RENO, Nev. – Dellena Criner led three Nevada players in double figures as the University of Nevada women’s basketball team beat second-place Idaho, 69-53, Thursday night at Lawlor Events Center on “Pack it With Pink” night.
Criner scored 19 while Kayla Williams scored 11 and Johnna Ward added 10. Nevada head basketball coaches Jane Albright and Mark Fox each donated $1 per fan in attendance to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. The attendance was 1,397 Thursday night.
“We never ever got down tonight,” Nevada head coach Jane Albright said. “We told them at halftime we were outworking them. We only had two turnovers in the second half. Our team is really unselfish and they don’t care who is going to get it done. Tonight I’d give the game ball to Bre`Anna Henry.”
With the win, Nevada improved to 14-11 overall and 8-4 in the WAC while Idaho fell to 11-12 overall and 8-4 in the WAC
Idaho led by seven, 18-11, with 13:04 left in the first half before a layup by Kayla Williams cut the Vandals’ lead to one, 21-20, with 8:30 remaining in the first half. Idaho pushed its lead back to seven, 29-22, with 2:28 left in the half as the Vandals went into the half leading, 31-27.
Brandi Jones led Nevada at the half with six points and seven rebounds. As a team, the Pack shot 33.3 percent (11-of-33) from the floor in the first half while Idaho shot 48.0 percent (12-of-25).
Idaho opened the second half hitting back-to-back three pointers to extend its lead to 37-27. Cherlanda Franklin’s layup with 9:55 remaining in the game gave Nevada its first lead of the night, 48-47. After Franklin’s layup, the Pack went on a 15-4 run to pull away from the Vandals as Nevada extended its lead to 65-51. A pair of free throws by Criner with under a minute to play helped Nevada post the 69-53 win.
Jones grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and Kayla Williams recorded a career-high seven rebounds for Nevada as the Pack outrebounded the Vandals 43-23. As a team, Nevada shot 40.6 percent (24-of-64) from the floor while Idaho shot 45.5 percent (20-of-44). Henry finished the game with a season-high six points and three rebounds in 18 minutes.
Nevada will play three of its final four games on the road starting in Boise, Idaho with a game against Boise State Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.