Nevada drops season opener to Utah 74-52

By  | 

RENO, Nev. – On opening night of the 2018-19 season for the Nevada women’s basketball team, Utah spoiled the opener by earning a 74-52 win.

The Wolf Pack (0-1) was led by a pair of seniors in Jade Redmon and Terae Briggs with Redmon notching a team-high 11 points and Briggs adding 10. Overall the Pack was balanced in its scoring attack as nine of the 10 players who saw time on the floor scored. With so many new faces this season, head coach Amanda Levens played five freshmen in the game, who were led in scoring by Da’Ja Hamilton. Hamilton missed collecting the first double digit game of her career by one point.

Nevada opened the scoring in the game on a 3-pointer by Camariah King, but fell behind after a 15-0 run put up by the Utes (1-0). The Pack was able to stop the bleeding with the final five points scored in the opening quarter, capped off by a buzzer beater from Hamilton that made the score 22-12 in favor of Utah.

The Pack played its best quarter of the game in the second and got things going with a 3-ball from freshman Emma Torbert. Slowly but surely Nevada started chipping away at the deficit using 3-pointers from freshman Essence Booker and King, along with multiple buckets by Redmon to bring the score within five at the 3:41 mark of the quarter. Free throws by Hamilton brought the margin down even further, but Utah stormed back and quickly pushed the lead back out to nine with 36 seconds left. As the quarter drew to a close, Redmon let go of a six-foot jumper that fell through at the buzzer to send the teams to the locker room with the Utes up 36-29.

Coming out of the break the Utes pushed their lead out to 11 under the eight minute mark. The Pack fought back and erased the double digit deficit, getting the margin down to just two points on a jumper by Hamilton with 5:32 left in the third quarter. That is as close as Nevada would get though as Utah outscored its opposition 15-4 in the rest of the quarter and added a 17-8 advantage in the fourth.

Utah picked up 49 rebounds in the game, 21 of which came on the offensive boards and led to 26 second chance points. Turnovers also hurt the Wolf Pack as it finished the game with 22 to Utah’s 15.

Nevada will embark on its first road trip of the new season this Saturday when it takes on Santa Clara at 4 p.m.

Postgame notes
-Nine of the 10 players that got minutes for Nevada scored, led by senior Jade Redmon’s 11 points.
-For Redmon it was 17th game of her career reaching double figures.
-Senior Terae Briggs also recorded double digits with 10 points, the 26th of her career.
-Freshman Amaya West earned the start in her first collegiate game.
-Five freshmen saw minutes for the Wolf Pack and were led in scoring by Da’Ja Hamilton’s nine points. Hamilton finished 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
-Nevada outscored its opponent in one of the four quarters, taking the second 17-14.
-The Pack held Utah to just 4-of-17 from beyond the arc in the game.