Wolf Pack wraps up regular season with tough loss at SDSU

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. – In the 2018-19 regular season finale, the Nevada women’s basketball team suffered a 64-61 loss at San Diego State Thursday night.

With tonight’s loss and a win by San Jose State, the Wolf Pack (11-18, 7-11 MW) will face the Spartans in the first round of next week’s Air Force Reserve Mountain West Championship. The Pack and SJSU will tip off at 2 p.m. on Sunday from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. The winner of that game will advance to play the No. 1 seed Boise State on Monday at 12 p.m.

Thursday night’s contest was the story of two halves as the Aztecs took the first half, and the Pack took the second half overall. San Diego State and Nevada played even in the first quarter, trading baskets back and forth until SDSU’s Tea Adams hit a layup with 37 seconds to give her team a one-point lead after 10 minutes. It was the second quarter though that belonged to the Aztecs as they outscored the Pack 18-7 and held Nevada to 23.1 percent shooting in that quarter. A pair of free throws by the Aztecs in the final minute of the first half sent them into the locker room with a 12-point lead.

Coming out of halftime, the Aztecs hit the first bucket of the second half but Nevada started hitting its shots to trim the gap. Starting with a layup by senior Terae Briggs, the Wolf Pack went on an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to three points and force SDSU to call a timeout. Briggs had eight of the 11 points during that run. That was as close as the Pack would get in the third quarter as the Aztecs extended their lead back out to 10 at the 2:43 mark. Nevada brought the game within reach though as the quarter drew to a close as freshman Essence Booker hit a free throw to make it a six point game with 10 minutes remaining.

San Diego State again opened the quarter with the first basket, sinking a 3-pointer that brought the lead up to nine. From there senior Jade Redmon took over, scoring the game’s next seven points and bringing her team within two at the midway point of the quarter. After junior Kristin Dearth cut the deficit to just one, Briggs gave the Pack its first lead since the opening quarter on an and-one with three minutes left.

Things got tight from there as SDSU’s Sophia Ramos tied things up once more, but Redmon put the Pack ahead 15 seconds later on a pair of free throws. On the ensuing Aztecs possession though, Naje Murray knocked down a triple that gave SDSU a one-point lead with 1:05 on the clock. Nevada had two chances to regain the lead in the next minute but could not get its shots to fall. The Pack had one more solid scoring chance with the clock stopped at 4.5 seconds and possession of the ball. The inbound pass came to Briggs who was surrounded by Aztec players and could not get her shot to fall. Play was stopped with 0.4 ticks left but SDSU was sent to the free throw line and made both to seal the three-point win.

Briggs had a monster game, scoring a game-high 28 points and grabbing nine rebounds. She was just one rebound shy of collecting her 10th double-double of the season. She finished 11-of-16 from the field to post her sixth 20-point game of the season. Redmon was the only other Pack player to hit double figures as she scored 12 points and added five rebounds and four assists.

Nevada will be the No. 8 seed in next week’s Air Force Reserve’s Mountain West Championship and play San Jose State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Postgame notes
-Nevada has the No. 8 seed in next week’s Air Force Reserve’s Mountain West Championship and will play San Jose State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
-The Wolf Pack finishes the regular season with an 11-18 overall record and a 7-11 mark in conference play.
-Senior Terae Briggs led all scorers with 28 points, two shy of tying her career high. She finished 11-of-16 from the field to post her sixth 20-point game of the season. She fell one rebound shy of collecting her 10th double-double of the year.
-Senior Jade Redmon also reached double figures, scoring 12 points. Redmon has scored in double figures in all but one game this season. Redmon added five rebounds and four assists in the game.
-Freshman Essence Booker finished the game one point short of scoring in double figures for the fourth straight game. Booker is 4-for-4 from the 3-point line in her last two games.
-Nevada trailed by 12 at halftime but outscored the Aztecs 35-26 in the second half.
-The Pack outrebounded the Aztecs 36-31, led by nine by Terae Briggs.
-The all-time series between Nevada and San Diego State is now tied, 11-11.