Hamilton best seen at Lawlor, not Broadway, as Wolf Pack gets 67-52 win over Air Force
RENO, Nev. (Nevada Athletics) - The Nevada women’s basketball team (9-3) opened Mountain West league play with a 67-52 win over Air Force (6-6) Tuesday night at Lawlor Events Center. Senior guard Da’Ja Hamilton, who amassed her 800th career point against the Falcons, dropped a season-high 21 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists to lead the Wolf Pack.
“We take it one game at a time,” said Hamilton. “We put the stop down defensively in the fourth quarter and held Air Force to seven points. We want to go out there and learn something from every game.”
Tuesday’s victory was nothing short of sweet for the Pack, grabbing its first conference-opening win since the 2017-18 season.
Freshman Audrey Roden and senior Nia Alexander joined Hamilton in double figures after tallying 11 and 10 points apiece. Roden shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field while grabbing two rebounds. Alexander added four rebounds and one steal. Nevada saw plenty of offensive production from its lineup with sophomore Lexie Givens (9 points), senior Amaya West (9) and sophomore Alyssa Jimenez (7) also playing large roles. West stuffed her stat line with six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Givens chipped in with four rebounds, a team-best two steals and one assist. A. Jimenez hauled in four rebounds and logged an assist.
Despite Air Force grasping a 13-11 edge to conclude the first quarter, the Pack led the remaining three quarters.
It didn’t take long for Alexander to even the game up at 13 after she netted a jumper 42 seconds into the second quarter. Alexander followed with two made free throws at 8:15 to give the Pack a 15-13 lead. A. Jimenez tabbed back-to-back jumpers at the 3:41 mark to extend a six-point control (25-19). Nevada closed the half on a Hamilton three with 3.1 seconds left for a 30-25 lead.
A Hamilton three-point play at 7:16 in the third quarter gave Nevada a commanding 38-26 lead before forcing an Air Force timeout. Despite being down 12, Air Force began chipping away and found itself down only by one (41-42) at 2:51. The Pack responded with layups by Roden and West for a five-point lead. Another A. Jimenez jumper with under 30 seconds left in the third provided Nevada with a 51-45 advantage at the end of the quarter.
Nevada fired up its defense in the fourth quarter and allowed only seven points. Hamilton sunk two free throws at 9:10 to push the lead back to eight. Then, back-to-back buckets from Hamilton and Alexander (57-45) forced a Falcon timeout at 7:45. The Pack controlled the rest of the force to grab its first Mountain West win of the season.
Nevada travels to San Jose State for a New Year’s Eve matchup at 4:30 p.m.
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