Fresno State Stifles Nevada’s Semifinals Run

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Eleven Fresno State three-pointers proved to be the deciding factor during an 82-71 loss for the Nevada women’s basketball team in the semifinal round of the 2014 Reese’s Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championships.

Friday afternoon’s contest began with a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes that featured 10 lead changes. The third-seeded Wolf Pack (18-13) hit 50 percent (13-of-26) of its shots, its highest shooting half against No. 2 seed Fresno State this season. The difference maker that sent the Bulldogs (21-10) into the locker room with a 40-35 halftime lead was their three-point game. Fresno State connected on 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) shots from beyond the arc, while Nevada knocked down three.

Fresno State came out in the second half on a 10-2 run and outscored the Pack 24-10 in the first eight minutes of the half to build its largest lead of the game at 19 points. Despite the deficit, Nevada displayed resiliency and managed to make a run of its own, coming to within eight points of the Bulldogs with just over a minute to play.

With time ticking down, Nevada was forced to start intentional fouls. Fresno State connected on seven free throws in the final 68 seconds to lock up the win and a trip to face No. 1 seed Colorado State in Saturday’s championship game.

Playing in what could be her final game in a Wolf Pack uniform, senior Arielle Wideman led the team in scoring, totaling 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Wideman also finished with seven assists in the game, which ties her for third all-time with 383 in her career. Junior Emily Burns secured the eighth double-double of her career with 13 points and a career-best 14 rebounds. Mimi Mungedi recorded three blocks and set a new Nevada single-season blocking record with 58 on the year.

The Wolf Pack’s 18 wins this season is the team’s best since it reached 22 wins during the 2010-11 campaign.

Nevada awaits its fate for a possible Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) berth, which will be announced Monday evening.