Women's Basketball
Women's Hoops Downs Northern Iowa, Will Face #7 Louisville in Nugget Classic Final

Box Score


RENO, Nev.   The University of Nevada women’s basketball team beat Northern Iowa 71-63 in its opening game of the Nugget Classic Friday night.  With the win, Nevada advances to tomorrow night’s championship game against #7 Louisville who defeated Alabama, 73-56, in the second game Friday night.


Nevada’s (3-3) win against Northern Iowa (2-2) marked first-year head coach Jane Albright’s 400th career victory.  Of her 400 career wins, Albright earned three at Nevada, 48 at Wichita State, 161 at Wisconsin and 188 at Northern Illinois


“As a coach you always want to win,” Albright said of her 400th career victory.  “I’ve been very blessed that I’ve been able to coach for this long.  It takes a long time to get 400 wins and I have the fun part the kids put all the work into it.” 


Nevada had a 10-3 lead on Dellena Criner’s three with 14:40 remaining in the first half before Megan Cherry’s three gave Nevada a 20-8 lead with 9:37 left in the first half.  Criner’s steal and layup put the Pack up by 10, 24-14, with just over seven minutes remaining.  Northern Iowa cut Nevada’s lead to 24-20 but Johnna Ward’s three extended Nevada’s lead to 27-22 with 3:38 left in the half. 


The Pack took a 31-25 lead at the half.  In the first half, Nevada shot 39.4 percent (13-of-33) from the floor while Northern Iowa shot 24.1 percent (7-of-29).


“We’re getting better every game,” Albright said.  “Defensively we did a nice job of taking them out of what they wanted to do and we held them to seven field goals in the first half.” 


In the second, the Pack opened the half on a 10-0 run and had a 41-25 lead with 17:55 left in the game.  The Panthers did not record a field goal in the second half until the 15:55 mark.


Nicole Clausen’s three pulled Northern Iowa to within three, 53-33, with 8:10 left in the game but the Pack pulled away late increasing it’s lead to 64-59 on a pair of free throws by Criner and a three-pointer by Ward on the next possession to put the Pack up 67-59. 


Nevada ended the game shooting 34.4 percent (21-of-61) from the floor while Northern Iowa shot 35.0 percent (21-of-60).  The Pack and the Panthers each recorded 44 rebounds which marks the fifth time in six games this year Nevada has either out-rebounded or tied its opponent in rebounding.


Criner led all scorers with 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor while Ward added 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the floor and 4-of-10 shooting from three-point range.  Cherlanda Franklin grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds while Shavon Moore grabbed eight.


#7 Louisville beat Alabama 73-56 in the second game Friday night.  Alabama and Northern Iowa will meet tomorrow in the consolation game at 5 p.m. while Nevada and #7 Louisville will meet in the championship game at 7 p.m.