LARAMIE, Wyo. – Playing in its first Mountain West road contest of the season, the Nevada women’s basketball team dropped a 68-53 decision to Wyoming Saturday afternoon from Arena-Auditorium.
Senior Nyasha LeSure had a career-day for the Wolf Pack (1-12, 0-2 MW), posting 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting and scored six points in each quarter. It marks LeSure’s ninth game in double figures this season and her second 20-point performance. Sophomore Teige Zeller also added a new career-high as she reached double figures for the first time in her career and finished with 10 points.
The difference maker in the game was free throws as the Cowgirls (8-4, 1-1 MW) were sent to the line 23 times and hit 18 of those attempts. Nevada on the other hand took just 12 foul shots, hitting eight. Aside from free throws, many of the stat categories were even between the two teams with Wyoming shooting slightly better overall at 45.1 percent for the game to the Pack’s 39.3 percent.
It was a tightly contested opening half as both teams traded baskets back and forth. Neither team could maintain a lead of more than five between the first 20 minutes of play. As the second quarter neared completion and the Cowgirls had gone on a small run to take a five-point lead, senior Kelsey Kaelin knocked down a 15-foot jumper to bring the Pack to within three, 30-27, at halftime.
Wyoming began to pull away a bit in the third quarter, starting the period on an 11-4 run through the first five minutes. That seven-point run aided the Cowgirls to staking its first double-digit lead of the contest at 41-31. The Wolf Pack was outscored by Wyoming by six in each of the two quarters of the second half, leading to the 15-point victory by the home team.
Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year Marquelle Dent proved why she was bestowed with that distinction, finishing with a game-high 30 points, hitting 12-of-20 from the field. Dent also dished out five assists and notched four steals.
Nevada won the battle in the paint, 34-28, for the third time this season and its bench outscored the Cowgirls’ bench 19-9.
Nevada will return to Lawlor Events Center all of next week to face Fresno State on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and Air Force next Saturday at 4 p.m.