Reno, Nev. - Despite a career-high 25 points by sophomore guard Dellena Criner, Nevada dropped its opening game in the John Ascuaga's Nugget Classic to Auburn, 84-75, on Friday night at Lawlor Events Center.
Nevada tied a school record with 11 3-pointers as the Wolf Pack buried 11-of-19 from beyond the 3-point arc. Criner hit 5-of-5 from 3-point land while Traci Graham was 4-of-9 and finished with a season-high 18 points.
Auburn had four players in double figures, led by DeWanna Bonner's 24 points. Sherell Hobbs added 14 points while Jordan Greenleaf and KeKe Carrier each scored 10 points.
Nevada, which led 35-34 at halftime, led by as many as eight points in the second half. But the Wolf Pack was plagued by foul trouble and was outmanned inside by the taller Tigers, who scored 48 of their 84 points in the paint. Carrier, Auburn's 6-foot-7 center, came off the bench in the second half and scored 10 points in 10 minutes. Her layup with just under five minutes to play gave Auburn the lead for good at 64-63. Auburn did most of its damage inside and attempted just one 3-pointer, which they missed.
Nevada was whistled for 28 fouls and had forwards Jessica Preslar and Marianne Lombardi foul out of the contest down the stretch. Lombardi set career highs with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Wolf Pack forced 21 Auburn turnovers with 13 steals.
Auburn will take on UC Riverside on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center. Nevada will take on UC Riverside on Sunday to conclude the classic.