LOS ANGELES, Calif. – On the final day of the Women of Troy Classic, the Nevada women’s basketball team snapped a two-game skid after a 62-57 victory over UTRGV on Saturday.
The Wolf Pack (6-5) earned the hard fought win after a slow start to the game by both teams. In the opening quarter the Pack and Vaqueros (5-7) each made just five field goals in the frame but Nevada pulled ahead with a slight two-point advantage at the end of the first. It was a tight second quarter as well as the two teams battled back and forth. Nevada had one of its best shooting periods of the game though in the second, hitting 46.2 percent to take a 28-23 lead into halftime.
Nevada came out firing in the third, posting its best quarter of the game. The Pack scored 20 points in the period after connecting on 50 percent of its shots. UTRGV also had a strong shooting quarter, but Nevada kept the Vaqueros at bay enough to increase its lead to nine heading into the fourth.
Even with that nine-point lead though, UTRGV did not go away quietly. The Vaqueros continued to chip away at the lead as the fourth quarter went on. At the 6:51 mark of the fourth and the Pack ahead by seven, the Vaqueros went on an 8-0 run to grab their first lead of the game. Nevada answered right back though on a jumper by junior Miki’ala Maio. From there the Pack did not relinquish the lead, doing what it needed to in order to keep a steady advantage. UTRGV did manage to get back within one point, but back-to-back buckets from junior Nia Alexander and sophomore Da’Ja Hamilton stretched the Pack lead back out to five with under two to play.
Maio, along with sophomore Essence Booker, led the Pack in scoring as they each totaled 13 points. For Maio it marked a new career high as she finished the game near perfect, hitting 4-of-5 from the field and was 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Booker tied her career high of three made 3-pointers and added four rebounds, four steals and two assists to her game. Alexander fell just two points shy of posting her first double-double of the year as she also grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the team.
Nevada will conclude non-conference action with a home contest against Cal Poly next Saturday, Dec. 28 at 2 p.m.