HONOLULU, Hawaii Nevada battled back from an 11 point deficit with eight minutes left to play to defeat Hawai`i 74-69 Saturday night in Hawai`i. Mikail Price, 17 points, led four Nevada players in double figures in the win.
With the win, Nevada improves to 17-6 overall this season and 8-2 in the WAC. With five regular season games remaining, Nevada is now three wins away from the first 20-win season in program history. The Pack is also one win away from recording the most overall wins under Kim Gervasoni (18) and is two wins away (19) from tying the program record for most wins in a season.
Hawai`i scored first in the game but Nevada used an 8-0 run and took a 8-2 lead on a pair of free throws by Dellena Criner with 17:45 left in the first half. Hawai`i cut Nevada’s early lead to 10-7 with 16:18 remaining on a three-pointer by Keisha Kanekoa.
Hawai`i tied the game at 10-10 with 14:52 remaining in the half and neither team led by more than two until Mikail Price completed a three-point play putting Nevada up 23-19 with 9:36 left in the half.
The Rainbow Wahine led by five, 27-22, before the Pack retook the lead, 28-27 on Criner’s layup with 4:37 remaining in the half. Hawai`i’s Leialani Galdones scored at the buzzer to give the Rainbow Wahine a 39-31 lead at the half.
Nevada shot 36.4 percent (12-of-33) from the field in the first half while Hawai`i shot 50.0 percent (16-of-32). Keys and Fitzgerald each had six points at the half for Nevada.
Nevada cut Hawai`i’s lead to three points early in the second half, 43-40, on Keys’ layup with 16:07 left in the game. The Pack tied the game at 45-45 with 14:09 remaining in the game on Fitzgerald’s layup before Hawai`i pushed its lead back to four points, 49-45, just over two minutes later.
Hawai`i extended its lead to seven points and took a 60-49 lead on back-to-back three pointers by Saundra Cariaga and Galdones with 7:55 remaining in the game. Nevada cut Hawai`i’s lead to 61-59 on a three pointer from Criner with 5:38 left and the Pack retook the lead 64-63 with just over four minutes to play.
Criner scored 16 points for Nevada while Keys tied her career high with 15 points. Fitzgerald also scored in double figures for the Pack with 12 points. Cherlanda Franklin and Fitzgerald each grabbed a team-high six rebounds.