Dec. 1, 2011
RENO, Nev. -
The University of Nevada women's basketball team (2-4, 0-0 WAC) will open up the month of December with a three game road trip beginning with a contest against Portland State Saturday. The Wolf Pack leads the series against the Vikings 4-3, with Nevada defeating Portland State last season 85-57. Portland State is currently 2-2 on the year and return home to face Nevada after suffering a loss at Gonzaga.
LAST TIME OUT
The University of Nevada women's basketball team lost a heart breaker in overtime to Pacific Wednesday night. The Wolf Pack dug in defensively to open the game, recording nine team blocks in the first half. Senior Kayla Williams controlled the paint with five blocks and seven rebounds. Nevada and Pacific kept the game close as the score was tied a total of eight times. The Pack was effective getting to the foul line and converting, finishing 9-10 from the free throw line before taking a 10 point lead into half time.
Nevada continued to find ways to attack the basket in the second half and built a 10 point lead by the five minute mark. Pacific turned on the defensive pressure late by applying a full court press that rattled the Pack. Pacific guard Erica McKenzie kept things interesting by knocking down consecutive three point shots to cut Nevada's lead to two with a minute left. The Pack had a chance to make it a two possession game on a missed layup before the Tigers connected on a jump shot to send the game into overtime.
The two teams continued to battle in the extra period by trading baskets on each end. Nevada took a one point lead with two minutes to go on a three point basket by Kate Kevorken. The Tigers answered back, hitting jump shots and free throws down the stretch to build a four point lead with 16 seconds left. Senior Amanda Johnson kept the game within reach, hitting a three pointer with seven seconds left. Pacific hit its free throw shots at the end to come away with the win.
Danika Sharp led Nevada with a team high 17 points, Kate Kevorken added 16, and Kayla Williams collected her 15th career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
PACK ON TOP OF THE WAC STATS
Nevada has players leading two WAC individual statistical categories. Forward Kayla Williams is tied in first in the WAC for blocks with 10 and guard Danika Sharp has the best free throw percentage at a perfect 1.000.
SHARP FROM THE LINE
Sophomore guard Danika Sharp has been impressive at the free throw line, converting on all17 of her attempts this season. Her sharp shooting from the stripe puts her in first place in the WAC free throw percentage category. Sharp's last miss from the stripe came in Nevada's WNIT second round loss to USC on March 20, 2011.
Amanda Johnson and Amber Smith are also both perfect from the charity stripe. Johnson is 6-6 while Smith is 3-3 on the year.
BLOCK PARTY FOR THE PACK
Nevada's interior defense against Pacific was solid Wednesday night despite the loss, finishing with a season high 10 team blocks. Kayla Williams led the defensive stand with five blocks, which put her tied for third in the program's single game total record book. Nevada's 21 rejections on the year puts them in second place in that WAC category.
THE YOUNG BUNCH
After losing six seniors, Nevada is a young team in 2011-12. The Wolf Pack's 13-player roster features five newcomers, and just two seniors with more than one year of competition experience. Nevada has five newcomers joining the squad this year, all of whom will be true freshmen. The class adds two guards, two forwards and a center to the roster. Nevada added guards Faith Lois (5-11, Westosha, Wisc.) and Kelsey Kaelin (5-8, Tigard, Ore.) and forwards Emily Burns (6-0, Reno, Nev.) and Aja Johnson (6-1, Danville, Calif.). The final player of the incoming class adds significant size to the team. Standing at 6-7, Mimi Mungedi found her way to Nevada from Africa, hailing from Libreville, Gabon.
TOUGH AT HOME
Nevada has pulled together and impressive run of success in the friendly confines of Lawlor Events Center going 33-18 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.