Wolf Pack advances to quarterfinals after win over San Jose State 78-68

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Tipping off the 2019 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Championship, the No. 8 seeded Nevada women’s basketball team held off No. 9 San Jose State, 78-68, Sunday afternoon to advance to the quarterfinals.

The victory sets up a rematch of last year’s MW Championship game as the Wolf Pack will face No. 1 Boise State at 12 p.m. in the quarterfinals round tomorrow.

Nevada was able to hold off a ferocious game by the Spartans from beyond the arc. SJSU knocked down 13 triples in all, shooting nearly 50 percent from long range. The Pack held a big advantage in two major categories though: rebounding and free throws. Nevada owned the glass, pulling in 45 boards, which included 17 on the offensive glass, to SJSU’s 19. The Pack had three major contributors on the boards, led by senior Terae Briggs. Briggs pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with 12 points to post her 10th double-double of the season.

Elsewhere on the glass freshman Emma Torbert tied her career high in rebounds with 11 and scored a career-best 15 points. Torbert came up huge for Nevada midway through the fourth quarter, hitting three straight 3-pointers. Senior Jade Redmon was also a strong rebounder today, collecting eight boards and a team-high 19 points. Redmon’s strength was her free throw shooting as she hit 11-of-14 from the line, most of which came at clutch moments down the stretch. All in all, Nevada outscored the Spartans 26-9 from the free throw line.

The Wolf Pack got off to a hot start in the game, setting the pace with a nine-point lead after the opening quarter. The Spartans charged back though in the second quarter, chipping away at the deficit until the 5:07 mark when they tied the game up at 23. The remainder of the period was back and forth with no team gaining a lead larger than four. With 13 seconds left until halftime, SJSU’s Raziya Potter was sent to the free throw line where she made 1-of-2, sending Nevada into the break up by three.

The third quarter belonged to Nevada, which hit 46.7 percent of its shots in the period and held San Jose State to 33.3 percent in the quarter. The Wolf Pack built up its largest lead of the game at 13 points with 57 seconds left in the period, but a triple by SJSU on its next possession cut the lead back to 10 as the game went into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter required the Wolf Pack to step up from beyond the arc to keep pace with the Spartans, who hit five triples in the quarter. At the 4:54 mark, SJSU’s Fieme’a Hafoka made things real interesting, tying the game at 60. From there Torbert took over, knocking down back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to put Nevada ahead by six with 2:04 remaining. The Pack’s defense then stepped up in the next minute, not allowing SJSU to attempt a single shot. With one minute remaining, the Spartans were forced to start fouling. In those final 60 seconds, Redmon hit 7-of-8 from the free throw line to keep Nevada ahead and ultimately seal the win.

Nevada will face Boise State tomorrow at 12 p.m. in the quarterfinals from the Thomas & Mack Center.

Postgame notes
-No. 8 Nevada won the opening contest of the Air Force Reserve Mountain West Championship this afternoon, 78-68, over No. 9 San Jose State.
-The Wolf Pack will now face No. 1 Boise State in the quarterfinals Monday at 12 p.m. PT from the Thomas & Mack Center. It is a rematch of last year’s MW title game.
-The Spartans made 13 3-pointers in the game, but the Wolf Pack outscored SJSU by 17 at the free throw line and 14-0 on second chance points.
-Nevada owned the glass, outrebounding SJSU by a 45-19 margin, which included 17 offensive rebounds.
-Senior Jade Redmon led the Wolf Pack with 19 points, connecting on 11-of-14 from the free throw line. She was 7-of-8 from the foul line in the final minute of the game.
-Freshman Emma Torbert collected her second double-double of the season with a career-high 15 points and tied her career high of 11 rebounds. Torbert came up big for the Pack midway through the fourth quarter, hitting three straight 3-pointers to keep Nevada ahead of the Spartans.
-Senior Terae Briggs posted her team-leading 10th double-double of the year, scoring 12 points and pulling in 12 rebounds. Briggs needs 21 points to eclipse 1,000 in her Wolf Pack career.
-Junior Camariah King also reached double figures with 10 points, hitting two 3-pointers.
-Freshman Essence Booker had a productive day, scoring seven points and dishing out a career-best six assists.
-Nevada head coach Amanda Levens is now 4-1 in the Mountain West tournament.
-The all-time series between Nevada and San Jose State is now tied 25-25.