UNLV, Booker steal first rivalry game against Nevada; Wolf Pack falls 78-75

Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 5:31 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Nevada led for much of Saturday’s rivalry meeting with UNLV at Lawlor Events Center, but a fourth-quarter rally from the Rebels sent the Wolf Pack to its first defeat in Mountain West play, 78-75.

The Pack (12-5, 4-1 MW) was shooting 47.9 percent, and led 61-56, through three quarters, but went just 5-for-13 from the field in the final frame. UNLV (15-4, 7-1 MW) countered by going 8-for-11, outscoring the Pack, 22-14, and taking the lead for good on Kiara Jackson’s three-point play with 5:57 to play.

Da’Ja Hamilton’s jumper 14 seconds into the final quarter gave the Pack a seven-point lead, but Nevada would make just one of its next seven attempts over the next six minutes. UNLV would capitalize, going on a 14-2 run to take a 70-65 lead, capped by Nneka Obiazor’s layup with just under five minutes to play.

Alyssa Jimenez got the Pack back within two, hitting one of Nevada’s 10 3-pointers on the day, but four-straight points from the Rebels put the Pack back a six-point hole at 74-68 with just under three minutes to go. Hamilton, who finished the day with 11 points, hit a pair of free throws, and Amaya West’s layup with 31 seconds left got it back to two at 74-72.

But Obiazor, who finished with 13 points, would come to UNLV’s rescue again, converting with 21 seconds left to get the Rebel lead to four, and, after a Nevada turnover, Essence Booker’s two free throws made it a six-point game with 10 seconds remaining.

West and Kylie Jimenez shared the Pack lead with 13 points apiece, and each hit three triples, while Nia Alexander came off the bench to add 12 points.

Jimenez scored eight of her 13 points in the third quarter, hitting a couple of 3-pointers in the opening three minutes which helped the Pack get out to a lead of 12 at 54-42. But Neavda could not sustain the hot start to the half, finishing the quarter 2-for-9 from the field as UNLV cut the deficit to five.

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