Women's Basketball
Women's Basketball Takes Three-Game Win Streak to UC Irvine Friday


~ GAME 8 ~

Fri., Dec. 7, 2007 * 7 p.m. (PT) * Bren Center * Irvine, Calif.

TV/RADIO: None/AM 1450 (ESPN Deportes); Ben Deach; Pregame 6:45 p.m. PT
INTERNET: Live streaming video (bigwest.org)
SERIES HISTORY: UC Irvine leads the all-time series, 11-6
LAST MEETING: Nevada posted a 69-68 victory over UC Irvine in Reno on December 17, 2006 

Nevada, who is coming off a 74-66 victory in the championship game of the Nugget Classic, brings a three-game win streak to UC Irvine on Friday.  Nevada won the last meeting between the two schools, posting a 69-68 win over the Anteaters on December 17, 2006 in Reno.  The Pack is 2-1 in games away from Lawlor Events Center this season.     

Nevada (5-2), who is off to its best start under head coach Kim Gervasoni’s tenure is coming off a 74-66 victory over Idaho State in the championship game of the Nugget Classic.  Dellena Criner (32 points) and Johnna Ward (19 points) each recorded a career high for the Pack.  On Dec. 1, Nevada defeated Southern 77-52 behind three Nevada players who scored in double figures, Criner (13 points),  Mikail Price (12 points) and Brandi Fitzgerald (10 points). Nevada also recorded a program-record 29 steals versus Southern passing the 22 steals the Pack recorded in 2006 against Utah State.  The Pack recorded a 64-55 win over Stephen F. Austin on Nov.  23 in the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic to advance to the championship game versus UTEP.  However, the final day of the tournament was cancelled due to a power outage at the Don Haskins Center and surrounding area.  Marianne Lombardi recorded her first career double-double and scored a career-high 16 points and added a career-high 13 rebounds to lead the Pack against SFA.  Criner led all scorers with 24 points while Price added 12.  Friday’s game versus Stephen F. Austin marked the Pack’s third consecutive game on the road.  Criner (17.1 ppg) and Price (11.0 ppg) are the Pack’s leading scorers while Lombardi and Criner lead the team in rebounding, averaging 4.4 boards per game.  The Pack is coached by Kim Gervasoni who is in her fifth season with Nevada and has a 46-82 overall record with the Pack.   

The Anteaters are 3-4 overall this season and are coming off a 68-57 win at Eastern Washington on Nov. 30 and an 87-67 loss at Washington on Dec. 2.  Stephanie Duda is UC Irvine’s leading scorer (11.9 ppg) and is averaging a double-double for the Anteaters (11.9 ppg and 10.9 rpg).  Kelly Cochran is the team’s second leading scorer at 9.7 points per game.  As a team, UC Irvine is averaging 69.0 points per game and averages just under 40 rebounds per game (38.8 rpg).   The Anteaters are coached by Molly Tuter who is in her fourth season and has a 26-61 overall record at UC Irvine.  

On the Air (AM 1450): Both of this weekend’s games in Southern California, along with all of Nevada’s home games, will be broadcast on AM 1450 (ESPN Deportes).  In addition, nine road games and the WAC Tournament will be broadcast.  On-air duties will be handled by Dan Gustin, Don Marchand and Ben Deach.  A complete broadcast schedule can be found on page five of this release.   

Live Stats: All of Nevada’s home games this season and selected road games will have live stats and will be available online at the following link.  The link will become active just before tip-off.  The UC Irvine/Nevada game will not have live stats.   

Live Streaming Video:  All of Nevada’s home games this season and select road games, including this Friday’s game at UC Irvine,  will have live streaming video and can be found online at the link below.   Home games can be found at the link below while the UC Irvine game can be found at www.bigwest.org

Dellena Criner earned her first career WAC Player of the Week honor on Dec. 3.  Criner was named the Nugget Classic MVP after leading the Wolf Pack to a 2-0 record and a Nugget Classic championship this past weekend in Reno.  Criner was Nevada’s leading scorer at the tournament, recording 13 points in the Pack’s 77-52 win over Southern and a career-high 32 points (13-of-22) in the championship victory over Idaho State, 74-66. The junior guard also registered a career-high eight steals against Southern. Criner, averaged 22.5 points while shooting 57.1 percent from the field over the weekend.  She also shot 90 percent (9-of-10) from the charity stripe and recorded eight assists. She knocked down 4-of-8 shots from long range in Nevada’s win over Idaho State. Criner registered two double-digit scoring games in the Pack’s two games, marking the fifth time this season she has scored in double figures.

Nevada won the Nugget Classic on Sunday, defeating Idaho State, 74-66...the win was the Pack's third win in a row and is Nevada’s longest win streak since the Pack won five in a row, from January 11-January 25, 2007...Dellena Criner scored a career-high 32 points against Idaho State while Johnna Ward recorded a career-high 19 points in the Pack's win over Idaho State...Nevada recorded a program-record 29 steals in the win versus Southern on Saturday night with Criner leading the way with a career-high eight...Nevada has scored at least 60 points in six of its seven games this season...Criner has been the Pack's leading scorer the last five games...Nevada has held six of its seven opponents to under 70 points this season...Criner is one of just two players in the WAC to have recorded at least 30 points in a game this season.

Through seven games this season the Pack has recorded 116 steals and is averaging 16.6 steals per contest which is second in the nation.  Mississippi Valley leads the nation, averaging 19.7 steals in three games.  Mikail Price leads the conference and team in steals with 22 (3.14 per contest).  Dellena Criner, who recorded a career high eight steals versus Southern, is second on the team with 18 while  Brandi Fitzgerald is third with 16.  Cherlanda Franklin and Marianne Lombardi are tied for fourth on the team with 13 each.  Nevada’s 116 steals (16.6 per game) leads the conference and is 64 steals above the second place team, La Tech, who has recorded 52 steals in five games (10.4 per game).  

Senior forward Andrea Sitton has been selected as one of the 30 initial candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for the 2007-08 basketball season.  The award presented annually to the NCAA Division I Student- Athlete of the Year in eight sports focuses on the “Four C’s” of classroom, character, community and competition.  Lowe’s, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, will award the winner with a trophy during the NCAA Final Four. This season, Sitton has played in all seven of Nevada’s games, helping the Pack to a 5-2 overall mark.  She is averaging just under 10 minutes per contest and has recorded six rebounds. Sitton is a three-time Academic All-WAC honoree and has a 3.68 GPA in elementary education.  Sitton, who was named to the Dean’s List in the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, is scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2008.  Sitton has participated in a number of community service activities including, the X-Treme Ability Challenge (2004), Race for the Cure (2004-07), the Heart Walk (2005-06), Renown Seniors’ Day (2007) and the Girls and Women in Sports Day (2004-06).  She has also been a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) since 2004 and is a member of several clubs including Intervarsity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Champions for Christ.  

Fifth-year head coach Kim Gervasoni, who picked up her 46th career victory in Nevada’s 74-66 victory over Idaho State in the championship of the Nugget Classic on Dec. 2, is four wins away from winning her 50th career game with Nevada.  Gervasoni is the second winningest coach in Nevada history and would become just the second coach in history to record at least 50 career wins with the Pack.

Nevada, who is on a current three-game win streak, is 5-2 through its first seven games this season, marking the best start under fifth-year head coach Kim Gervasoni.  The 2002-03 and 1987-88 teams also started the season 5-2.  The Pack’s best start in program history through seven games was a 6-1 start during the 1997-98 season.

Nevada has gotten to the line more than any other team in the conference this season.  As of Dec. 3, the Pack has attempted a league-leading 178 free throws and is first in the WAC in free throws made with 124.  Nevada is the only team in the conference to have made at least 100 free throws.  As a team, the Pack is third in the conference in free throw percentage (.697).   Dellena Criner is first on the team in free throws made with 45 while Mikail Price is second with 32.  

Through the first seven games of the season, seven Nevada players have recorded a total of 15 double-digit scoring games.  Mikail Price has scored in double figures three time this season (22 vs. Santa Clara, 12 vs. both SFA and Southern), while Shavon Moore has scored in double digits twice (10 vs. Santa Clara and 14 vs Eastern Washington.)  Cherlanda Franklin (12 vs. SDSU) and Johnna Ward (19 vs. Idaho St.) have each scored in double figures once this season while Brandi Fitzgerald has recorded two double-digit scoring games  (10 at both Gonzaga and versus Southern).  Marianne Lombardi has recorded one double-digit scoring game (16 vs. SFA) and is the only player to record a double-double this season.  Dellena Criner has recorded five double-digit scoring games this season, including two 20-point games and one 30-point game.  

Nevada has used three different starting lineups this season, while Dellena Criner, Brandi Fitzgerald and Cherlanda Franklin have each started all seven games.  Nevada is 3-0 with the starting lineup of Criner, Fitzgerald, Franklin, Mikail Price and Marianne Lombardi

Through its first seven games of the season, Nevada has held six of its seven opponents to under 70 points per game.  The Pack has held opponents to under 60 points three time this season against Santa Clara (51), versus Stephen F. Austin (55) and at home versus Southern (52).  Through its first seven games, Nevada is second in the WAC in scoring defense, holding opponents to 64.6 points per game.

After playing in its first nationally-televised game last season, the Pack will play in three televised contests this season.  KAME will broadcast the final game of the Nugget Classic on Dec. 2 and will also televise the Nevada/New Mexico State game on January 26.  Both games will be shown on a tape-delay basis with the Nugget Classic Championship game being shown at 7 p.m. PT and the New Mexico State game being aired at 7 p.m. PT.  CSTV will broadcast the Nevada/Hawaii game from Reno on January 12. 

Starting with Nevada’s game against Southern on Dec. 1, the University of Nevada women’s basketball team will have 13 home games and a total of 22 regular-season home games broadcast on ESPN Deportes, AM 1450.  On-air duties will be handled by Dan Gustin, Don Marchand and Ben Deach.  A complete broadcast schedule is below.   

NEVADA IN THE WAC STATS (as of 12/3/07)
Dellena Criner is second in the conference in points per game (17.1 ppg), while Mikail Price is  tied for 16th (11.0 ppg)...Price is first in steals (22, 3.14 spg)...Criner is fourth in steals (18, 2.57 spg), Brandi Fitzgerald is ninth (16, 2.29 spg) while Cherlanda  Franklin and Marianne Lombardi are tied for 15th with 13 steals each (1.86 spg)...Price is sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.429%) while Criner is 14th (.320%) and Johnna Ward is 15th (.313%)...Criner is tied for 13th in assists (2.29 apg)...Criner is ninth in free throw percentage (.764%) while Price is 14th (.711%)...Criner is sixth in minutes played with 218 (31.14 mpg)...Fitzgerald is tied for 10th in blocked shots (6)...Shavon Moore is tied for 13th in offensive rebounds with 17 (2.43 rpg)...Ward is 10th in three pointers made (1.43 per game), while Price is 12th (1.29 per game) and Criner is tied for 14th (1.14 per game).  

Sunday vs. Idaho State
Dellena Criner scored a career-high 32 points while freshman Johnna Ward added 19 as the University of Nevada women’s basketball team defeated Idaho State 74-66 in the championship game of the Nugget Classic.  Nevada opened the game on a 10-2 run and held Idaho State scoreless until 16:04 in the first half.  Ward’s three pointer with 9:26 remaining in the first half put Nevada up by five, 19-14.  Criner hit back-to-back three pointers with 6:46 left to give Nevada a 25-20 lead.  Idaho State cut the lead to 30-28 with just under a minute remaining before two consecutive blocks by Fitzgerald at the end of the half helped Nevada take a two-point lead into halftime. The Bengals tied the game with 17:48 remaining in the second half and took their first lead of the game, 36-34, after a jumper by Natalie Doma.  Nevada pulled to within three on Ward’s three pointer with 15:18 remaining and cut Idaho State’s lead to one, 42-41, on the next possession after a Ward steal and layup. With 3:55 remaining in the game, Bre'Anna Henry grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put Nevada back on top 62-60.  With 1:49 left in the game, the Bengals’ Andrea Lightfoot hit all three of her free throws to pull Idaho State to within one, 67-66.  Nevada held Idaho State without a field goal over the last 4:36 in the game.  Criner led all scorers with 32 points on 13-22 shooting.  Ward ended the game with a career-high 19 points (6-10) including shooting 5-8 from three-point range.  Henry came off the bench for Nevada to grab a team-high six rebounds. 

2008-09 SIGNEES
Nevada received signed National Letters of Intent from Amanda Johnson, a 5-6 guard from El Camino High School in Oceanside, Calif., Brittany Woodard, a four-year varsity team member from Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, Calif., and Kayla Williams, a four-year varsity starter from Reed High School in Sparks, Nev.  Amanda Johnson is a four-year varsity player and has been the starting point guard at El Camino High School in Oceanside, Calif., since her freshman season.  She led her high school team in scoring her sophomore and junior seasons and was named All-Avocado League MVP in 2005. As a junior in 2006-07, Johnson averaged 15.1 points per game, 5.2 assists per game, 4.0 rebounds per game and 2.8 steals per game.  Brittany Woodard is a four-year varsity player from Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, Calif.  She is a three-time Sierra Valley Conference All-League selection and is a two-time Sierra Valley Conference MVP. Kayla Williams is the third member of the Pack’s incoming class for next fall.  She is a four-year varsity starter at Reed High School in Sparks, Nev. and plays club for Jam On It Basketball Academy.  She is a three-time All-League Honoree, a second-team selection as a freshman and a first-team selection as a sophomore and junior.

The University of Nevada women's basketball team enjoyed a very successful 2006-07 season in which the team posted a 17-15 overall record and advanced to post-season play for the first-time in school history.  Nevada also finished with its highest ever win total in WAC play (10-6), including its first-ever win over La Tech.  Nevada started the season 3-0, its best start in 25 years and had three players earn All-WAC honors at the end of the season.  Dellena Criner was named to the All-WAC First Team, the All-WAC Defensive Team and to the WAC All-Tournament team while Traci Graham was named to the All-WAC Second Team.  Marianne Lombardi was named to the All-Freshman Team marking the third consecutive season Nevada had a freshman named to the All-Freshman Team.

The University of Nevada women’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in the WAC Preseason Coaches Poll and third in the Media Poll.  Nevada, who received one first-place vote in each poll, also had two players named to the Preseason All-WAC Teams.  Junior guard Dellena Criner was named to the First Team while junior guard Brandi Fitzgerald was named to the Second Team.  Criner was also named to the Preseason All-WAC Media team. 

Nevada will face UC Riverside on Sunday at 2 p.m. before hosting CS Fullteron on December 16 at 2 p.m. in a doubleheader with the men’s team.