RENO, Nev. The University of Nevada women’s basketball team lost its first WAC game of the year, falling to Fresno State 63-60 Friday night at Lawlor Events Center in front of the program’s third largest crowd in history, 2,661.
With the loss, Nevada falls to 13-8 overall and 7-1 in WAC play while Fresno State improved to 16-6 and 7-2 in WAC play.
Nevada, who was down by 11 at halftime, battled back to tie the game at 45-45 with 7:23 left in the second half but Fresno State went on a 6-0 run over the remaining two minutes of the game to post the 63-60 win.
The Bulldogs led by six, 16-10, with 12:56 left in the first half. Fresno State used a 10-2 run to go ahead 28-16 with 4:15 remaining in the half. Fresno State extended its lead to 15 late in the first half before taking an 11-point lead at the half, 33-22.
Nevada shot 29.4 percent (10-of-34) from the floor in the first half while Fresno State shot 42.9 percent (12-of-28) from the floor. Brandi Jones and Cherlanda Franklin each had six points for the Pack.
In the second half, Nevada cut Fresno State’s lead to four, 38-34, on a three pointer by Dellena Criner with 14:17 left in the game. Criner’s jumper with 11:42 left pulled Nevada to within two, 43-41. Criner’s layup with 4:33 left put Nevada up 55-54 and gave Nevada its first lead since 18:05 in the first half.
After a three-point play put Nevada up by three, 60-57, Fresno State used a 6-0 to end the game and post the 63-60 win.
For the game Nevada shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from the floor while Fresno State shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49). The Pack shot just 54.5 percent from the free throw line (12-of-22). Fresno State, who entered the game leading the nation in three pointers made with 9.9 per game, hit eight against Nevada.
Criner, who had just two points at halftime, ended the game with a game-high 22 points, five assists and four steals in 37 minuets. Franklin scored 13 points and added a career seven blocks. Shavon Moore recorded a team-high seven rebounds.
“We needed one more stop and couldn’t get it,” Nevada head coach Jane Albright said. “Our lack of making free throws hurt us. We beat them in every other statistical category, made field goals, rebounds, assists, steals, but the free throws we missed were the difference in the ballgame.”
Nevada will host Utah State on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Girls and Women in Sports Day. Student-athletes from Nevada’s teams will conduct clinics beginning at 10:30 a.m. in Lawlor. Clinic participants will get into the Nevada/Utah State game for free.