RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – Playing its final non-conference game of the 2018-19 season, the Nevada women’s basketball team topped Hawai’i 79-78 in overtime Saturday afternoon.
The Wolf Pack (4-7) is rolling as of late having won three of its last four games and will take that momentum into the start of Mountain West play next week. A big reason for the Pack’s recent success has been the play of senior Terae Briggs, who scored a career-high 24 points today on 9-of-14 shooting. Another senior in Jade Redmon, who was playing in her first game since Dec. 2, added 12 points and freshman Emma Torbert recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs.
Nevada rolled through the opening quarter, shooting nearly 60 percent from the field and staked a 24-16 lead after the first 10 minutes. While the scoring slowed for both teams in the second, the Pack maintained its strong play through much of the quarter. Nevada held on to its double digit lead throughout the period, always staying at least 10 points ahead of the Rainbow Wahine (4-9). Hawai’i did end the second quarter on a 6-0 run however, that cut the deficit down from 17 to 11 at halftime.
The third quarter belonged to the Rainbow Wahine as they shot above 70 percent from the field, held Nevada to just 2-of-12 shooting and outscored the Pack 24-13. The Pack’s double digit lead was erased at the 8:08 mark of the third when Hawai’i’s leading scorer Julissa Tago hit a layup that brought the lead down to nine. Nevada’s offense struggled to find its rhythm in the period and Hawai’i capitalized. With 19 seconds left in the third, UH’s Courtney Middap knocked down a pair of free throws that tied the game at 49 heading into the final quarter in regulation.
The fourth quarter was as back and forth as any as the two teams traded basket after basket, neither one able to establish a large lead and pull away. In the last 3:26 of the fourth, the Pack and Rainbow Wahine found themselves tied five different times. The most important tie of the period came with 23 seconds on the clock, when Redmon hit a pull-up jumper that tied the game at 69. The Nevada defense held strong on the other end of the floor and got Tago to miss the game-winning shot, sending the game into overtime.
Overtime was also evenly matched with three ties and four lead changes. Hawai’i made the first basket of OT but a pair of free throws by Redmon quickly erased the lead. The Rainbow Wahine grabbed the lead two more times in the period, but each time were met with an answer by the Wolf Pack. Nevada secured the lead for good at the 2:13 mark when Briggs got a layup to fall and the Pack extended its lead, and ultimately secured the win, when Redmon hit a mid-range jumper with 1:27 on the clock, putting the Pack up 79-75. Hawai’i did not go quietly though as Lahni Salanoa knocked down a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to cut it to a one-point game. A missed shot by the Pack on the other end gave the ball back to Hawai’i with 28 seconds to work with. The Pack defense came through again though, getting two misses by the Rainbow Wahine to end the game in Nevada’s favor, 79-78.