Ladyjacks Fall Short in Tough Battle Against Nevada
Nov. 23, 2007
EL PASO, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack basketball team dropped a 64-55 decision to Nevada Friday night in the first round of the UTEP Thanksgiving Tournament at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. The loss dropped SFA to 1-3 (.250) on the season, while Nevada improves to 3-2 (.600) overall.
The close, back-n-forth affair saw 11 lead changes and nine ties in the first half, with neither team gaining a significant advantage. If one team scored a bucket, the other would come down the floor and answer. When Nevada forced SFA into a turnover, the Ladyjack defense would stiffen and take the ball right back.
The Ladyjacks gained the biggest advantage of the half, four points, 6-2 with 16:13 remaining. After that neither team could muster more than a three point lead.
Although both teams did a fairly good job of forcing the other into turnovers, neither team could capitalize on the mistakes. The Wolf Pack turned the ball over 14 times in the first 20 minutes, but SFA was only able to turn that into six points. The Ladyjacks turned the ball over 10 times, but Nevada only scored nine points off the miscues.
The Ladyjacks knocked down one more field goal than their opponents in the first half, but Nevada was able to connect on a couple of threes, while SFA was 0-for-3 from beyond the arc. SFA finished the half 12-of-32 (.375) from the floor, while the Wolf Pack connected on 34 percent of its shots. Nevada also held a slim 24-22 advantage on the boards, but junior Natashia Green was able to hit a bucket with 20 seconds left in the half to lock the game up at 27 heading into the locker room.
The second half can only be described as missed opportunities for SFA. Nevada gained its biggest lead of the second half, eight points with 11:51 remaining. But SFA head coach Lee Ann Riley would not allow her troops to fall any further behind. The Ladyjacks began attacking the basket, and were able to get to the free throw line.
After going to the stripe only six times in the first half, SFA was put on the line 21 times in the final 20 minutes. After connecting on 5-of-its-first-6 free throws in the half, the Ladyjacks then missed six of their next nine.
Despite their struggles at the line, SFA was able to chip points off the Nevada lead. The Ladyjacks tightened up the defense, and pulled to within three points, 47-44, with 7:59 remaining.
Nevada pushed its lead to five points late in the game when senior Nikki Carr drilled a three-pointer to cut the lead to two points, 57-55, with 2:44 remaining. It was the Ladyjacks' first three of the game, and ironically it was their final bucket of the game. Nevada would close out the game outscoring SFA, 7-0, over the final 2:44. The Wolf Pack went 7-of-10 from the free throw line down the stretch to win the game.
Nevada was led by 24 points from Dellena Criner. Marianne Lombardi added 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Ladyjacks return to action Saturday to face Cal State Fullerton. The game against the Titans is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. from the Don Haskins Center.