LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A valiant comeback effort in the second half by the Nevada women’s basketball team was not enough to top rival UNLV Friday night at Cox Pavilion, falling 80-68 in a Governor’s Series’ contest.
With tonight’s loss the Wolf Pack (17-12, 12-6 MW) secured the No. 3 seed in next week’s 2014 Reese’s Mountain West Women’s Basketball Tournament. They will play the winner of the No. 6/11 game between San Diego State and Air Force.
In the first half, the Lady Rebels (12-18, 9-9 MW) held the Wolf Pack to their lowest shooting half of the season, as Nevada connected on just 21.2 percent of its shots (7-of-33). UNLV hit 13-of-29 (44.8 percent) from the field and took a 39-24 lead into halftime. Alana Cesarz and Mia Bell each finished the half in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The second half was a different story as the Pack hit 43.8 percent (14-of-32) of their shots and made a charge towards the lead. While Nevada was never able to regain the lead in the game, the team cut the 15-point halftime deficit down to one point thanks to a 9-0 run. Senior Arielle Wideman scored seven points during the run and brought the score to a 45-44 UNLV advantage with 12:15 to play.
Over the next four minutes, the two teams traded baskets, keeping the Wolf Pack within reach of their third consecutive come-from-behind win. Back-to-back three-pointers by the Lady Rebels, however, with under eight minutes, left stretched the lead back to double-digits.
Wideman led the Pack in scoring, totaling 13 points. She has scored in double figures in seven of her last eight games. Emily Burns, Mimi Mungedi and Julia Shelbourn all chipped in eight points apiece. Shelbourn tied a career-high in both points and rebounds (6).
Nevada remains in Las Vegas to ready for the conference tournament and will play either SDSU or Air Force this Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast at NevadaWolfPack.tv on the Mountain West Network. Don Marchand will also have the call on the new home of the Wolf Pack women’s basketball team, KFOY 1060 AM, NBC Sports Radio.