Second half defense lifts Nevada women’s basketball to 23-point win over Pepperdine

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 12:07 AM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RENO, Nev. (Nevada Athletics) - Forcing Pepperdine into a 10-minute scoring drought in the second half, Nevada women’s basketball’s defense once again led the way to clinch a 64-41 victory Friday night at Lawlor Events Center.

Nevada turned the defense into offense during that stretch, going on a 17-0 scoring run to increase its lead to 20 points in the final minutes. Junior guard Audrey Roden led with a game-high 14 points and a career-high six steals. Senior forward Lexie Givens added 13 points while freshman guard Izzy Sullivan came up with a career-high 11 points, going a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range.

The Waves cut the early deficit to two points with a layup, but Nevada’s defense prevented Pepperdine from scoring again in the first quarter. The Pack used two straight baskets and shut down Pepperdine’s offense for the final 4:40 of the first quarter to take the early advantage.

Coming back from a season-ending knee injury from the previous year, redshirt sophomore forward Natalie Lathrop gave Nevada a lift off the bench in the second quarter. Lathrop scored the opening basket of the second quarter and finished a strong layup following a Gabby Giuffre 3-pointer to widen Nevada’s lead to double-digits.

Pepperdine responded by knocking down a jumper and hitting a free throw to cut the Pack’s lead to seven going into the locker room. Six unanswered points by Pepperdine allowed the Waves to make it a one-point game to open the third quarter. Givens knocked a shot down from beyond the arc that started an 11-0 Nevada scoring run capped off by a Sullivan 3-pointer that allowed Nevada to go back up by double-digits. A jumper and free throw allowed Pepperdine to cut the lead back down to seven points later in the third quarter, but Nevada responded once again with a scoring run of its own. Ending the third quarter with six straight points, the Pack ended the third and started the fourth with a 17-0 scoring run that pushed Nevada in front by 26.

The Pack forced Pepperdine to just 10 fourth quarter points and 18.2% shooting in the final 10 minutes to seal its second win of the season. Nevada will host three-time Elite Eight participant and 2019 Final Four qualifier, Oregon, Tuesday at Lawlor Events Center at 6:30 p.m. for its Native American Heritage game.

Postgame Notes

  • Nevada forced Pepperdine into 25 turnovers that resulted in 25 points off turnovers. Nevada was forcing 28 turnovers per game heading into Friday.
  • Nevada went on a 17-0 scoring run in the second half and held Pepperdine scoreless for 10 minutes between the third and fourth quarters.
  • Senior guard Gabby Giuffre made her first career start Friday. She finished with a career-high six rebounds.
  • Redshirt sophomore forward Natalie Lathrop scored her first basket since March 7, 2022 at the 9:10 mark in the second quarter. She bounced back from a season-ending knee injury sustained last season and finished with a career-high seven points on Friday.
  • Junior guard Audrey Roden came up with a career-high six steals, having a combined 11 steals in the last two games.
  • Freshman guard Izzy Sullivan scored a career-high 11 points off the bench, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range.