Aja Johnson has started four games in her freshman year for Nevada
Jan. 24, 2012
RENO, Nev. -
The University of Nevada women's basketball team (5-13, 1-2 WAC) will return home for a pair of home games, starting with a match-up with Hawaii (7-11, 2-1 WAC) Thursday night 7 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center.
The Rainbow Wahine lead the overall series with Nevada 22-11. Nevada has defeated Hawaii the last eight meetings, with the previous victory taking place last season where the Pack won 69-42 in Reno. In the win, Tahnee Robinson led Nevada with 24 points and eight rebounds. Kayla Williams recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Rainbow Wahine are on a two-game winning streak, having knocked off Louisiana Tech 61-46 last Thursday and New Mexico State 51-48 Saturday both at home. Hawaii is led by their sophomore forward Kamilah Jackson who is averaging a double-double with 14.3 points and 10.6 rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT
The University of Nevada women's basketball team picked up its first conference win on the road, defeating Idaho 76-70 Monday evening.
Nevada and Idaho opened the game going back and forth on the offensive end, as the game was tied 8-8 at the 15 minute mark. The Wolf Pack buckled down on defense to take an eight point lead over the Vandals. Kate Kevorken and Chanelle Brennan carried the offensive load for Nevada, each scoring 11 first half points. Idaho's Alyssa Charlston nearly missed a double-double in the opening half, recording nine points and 10 rebounds for the Vandals. Nevada went into halftime with a 32-25 lead.
Nevada's freshman Emily Burns gave the team a lift off the bench to begin the second half. The forward knocked down back to back three pointers on her way to her first double-double and career high 11 points with 13 rebounds. Senior Amanda Johnson came alive in the second half as well, scoring a career high 15 points all in the second half, building Nevada's biggest lead to 17 at the 5:16 mark. The Vandals applied a full court pressure in an attempt to get back in the game that rattled the Pack. Charlston continued to attack Nevada's interior, leading the Vandals with 17 points and 16 rebounds. A few missed free throws by Nevada and three consecutive three point attempts by Idaho allowed the Vandals to cut the lead to single digits late in the game. Nevada got back on track from the free throw line to escape with a six point win and first conference victory.
TEAM EFFORT IN FIRST WAC WIN
Nevada's first conference win against Idaho saw four players score in double digit figures. Kate Kevorken (18), Chanelle Brennan (15), Amanda Johnson (15), and Emily Burns (11). The Pack has had three games in which four or more players scored in double figures. St. Martin's (5), CSU Bakersfield (5), and Idaho (4). Nevada is 3-0 in those games.
BURNS GETS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Freshman Emily Burns made the most of her extended minutes in the win over Idaho. Burns logged a season high 25 minutes and finished with her first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
AMANDA WITH A CAREER HIGH
Point guard Amanda Johnson has taken on a facilitator role this season in running Jane Albright's offense. Sensing a need to score to help keep Nevada ahead over Idaho, the senior recorded a career high 15 points in the 76-70 win.
CAPTAIN KATE LEADS THE TEAM
Senior captain Kate Kevorken has been a constant presence for Nevada on the offensive end this season. The forward has led Nevada in scoring in 11 of its 18 games, pitching in 18 points in the win over Idaho. Kevorken's 16.8 ppg average is good for second best in the WAC. Her 39 made three-pointers puts Kevorken in second place in the WAC.
BRENNAN STEPS UP
Guard Chanelle Brennan has stepped up in her expanded role this year. The Junior transfer finished with 15 points in the win against Idaho. Brennan achieved a career high of 17 points in the win against CSU Bakersfield earlier this season. In the overtime loss against Long Beach State, Brennan collected her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The junior transfer has appeared in all 18 games for the Pack, starting in nine.
CLOSE GAMES FOR THE PACK
Although Nevada is 5-13 on the year, 10 of the games have been decided by 10 points or less. The Pack is 4-6 in those games, defeating Idaho 76-70 (6), CSU Bakersfield 85-76 (9), Oregon 76-74 (2) and Butler 71-69 (2) in the Nugget Classic. Nevada is 2-4 in games decided by 5 points or less, losing to Mississippi State in the Peppermill Holiday Classic consolation game 67-63 (4).
SPEAKING OF CLOSE GAMES
Nevada has battled teams late in games this season. Twice this year the game has gone into overtime. Nevada is 0-2 in its overtime games this year, falling to Pacific 75-70 and Long Beach State 61-58. As a program Nevada has played in 25 overtime games, going 8-17 (.32). Nevada's last overtime win occurred in the WAC tournament on March 12, 2009 against LA Tech 91-88. The most overtime games the Pack has had in a season is two (1997-1998).
PACK ON TOP OF THE WAC STATS
Forward Kayla Williams leads the WAC individual statistical category for blocks with 34 and field goal percentage at .510.
FRESHMEN MAKING THEIR MARK
As a young team, Nevada is leaning on production from its newcomers. Aja Johnson received her first career start in the Peppermill Holiday Classic consolation game against Mississippi St., logging 28 minutes and finishing with five points, five rebounds and four blocks. Johnson had a breakout game in the win over CSU Bakersfield, eclipsing her career high off the bench with 17 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Johnson shot 75 percent from the field in the Idaho win, finishing with six points and seven rebounds. Emily Burns had her breakout game against the Vandals, recording her first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes of action. The two newcomers both started the game against in-state rival UNLV. Johnson has started in four games this year.
BLOCK PARTY FOR THE PACK
Nevada's 83 rejections on the year puts them in first place in that team WAC category. The Pack is averaging 4.6 blocks per game as a team. In the CSU Bakersfield win Kayla Williams recorded six blocks in the game which is third best in the program's history.
TOUGH AT HOME
Nevada has pulled together and impressive run of success in the friendly confines of Lawlor Events Center going 34-21 at home in the last four seasons. In her first season leading the Wolf Pack, Jane Albright coached the team to its first win over a ranked opponent in program history when the Pack stunned then No. 7 Louisville by beating the Cardinals 85-82 at the 2008 John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic. Last year, Nevada went 11-5 at home after going a perfect 7-0 at Lawlor in the non-conference season. Nevada set a new record for home attendance in the WNIT second-round game, with 3,361 fans watching the Pack take on USC. The team has had its three wins all at home this season with a 3-5 record at Lawlor.