Reno's McGwire returns home to beat Wolf Pack 83-72

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RENO, Nev. – An edge in the third quarter pushed Boise State past the Nevada women’s basketball team on Saturday by the final score of 83-72.

The Wolf Pack (10-12, 3-8 MW) played extremely well against the defending Mountain West champions in the first half, shooting above 50 percent in the opening quarter. The Broncos (15-8, 7-4 MW) started the game hot, jumping out to a 10-2 lead midway through the period. Nevada then went on an offensive tear, hitting its next five shots in a row and scoring 12 of the game’s next 14 points to claim its first lead, 14-12. Boise State tied the game at 14 with just over a minute left in the quarter, but a 3-pointer by sophomore Essence Booker gave the Pack a three-point advantage after 10 minutes of action.

The second quarter was a dead heat as both teams scored 19 points and hit an identical 8-of-18 from the field. It was the Wolf Pack though that seemed to control the pace of the quarter and maintained the lead throughout. An and-one from senior Marguerite Effa with 4:56 to go until halftime extended the Pack’s lead to nine, its largest of the game. The Broncos did not falter though and began chipping away at the deficit as halftime neared. As the clock ticked to under a minute remaining, a layup in the paint from Effa pushed the lead back out to five, but a Boise State layup on the other end sent Nevada into the break with a three-point edge.

Unfortunately for Nevada, the third quarter belonged to Boise State. The offense sparked to life in the third, connecting on 61.1 percent from the field. The Broncos defense held strong as well as they held the Pack to a game-low 26.7 percent shooting in the period. Boise State had its foot on the gas from the get-go, grabbing the lead at the 7:38 mark, a lead it did not relinquish. After grabbing the lead the Broncos went on a 12-0 run to claim its first double digit lead of the game with under five to play in the period. The Wolf Pack kept fighting, but would only come within eight the rest of the contest.

Individually for Nevada sophomore Imani Lacy recorded a huge game, scoring a game and career-high 28 points. Lacy was 8-of-14 from the field coming off the bench for the Wolf Pack and nearly perfect from the free throw line, knocking down 12-of-14. This is the second 20-point game of Lacy’s career and first of the season. Booker also posted a solid performance as she totaled 19 points, two shy of tying her career high. She shot 50 percent for the game, which included hitting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, and added five rebounds and two assists. The assists department was handled by freshman Jená Williams, who dished out a career-high eight assists to zero turnovers. Those eight assists are the most by a Nevada player this season.

Nevada is back on the road all of next week, starting with a contest at Air Force next Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. PT.