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Nevada women's basketball defeats Utah State for first conference victory

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Nevada women's basketball defeats Utah State for first conference victory. (Anthony Resnick/NSN)

Behind four double digit scorers, the Nevada women’s basketball team picked up a 69-60 win over Utah State on Saturday to earn its first Mountain West win of the season.

The Wolf Pack (8-8, 1-4 MW) used some big runs throughout the game to overtake the Aggies (5-12, 0-6 MW), but found itself trailing early on. Utah State had built up a seven-point lead on Nevada in the first quarter, before the Pack used a 6-0 run to close out the period and climb back in the game. The Aggies again came out firing to start the second quarter to post another seven-point lead. Nevada quickly erased the deficit though and used a 12-0 run to not only take the lead for the first time, but establish a five-point advantage just before halftime.

Nevada was able to maintain its lead throughout the rest of the game and did not trail from the 4:55 mark of the second to the final whistle. In the third the Wolf Pack offense came alive to give the team its largest lead of the game to that point at 16 points with 3:47 to play in the quarter. The Aggies did not go away quietly though as they brought the deficit back down to single digits before junior Miki’ala Maio’s jumper in the paint with 33 seconds to go in the third, put Nevada ahead by 11 entering the final quarter. The Pack then maintained a double digit lead throughout much of the fourth, until the final basket of the game by the Aggies made the score 69-60.

The Wolf Pack was led by one of its rookies in Dom Phillips, who tied her season high of 17 points. Phillips was electric for Nevada, hitting three of the team’s four made 3-pointers. She added three rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assists to her day as well. Nevada also got a double digit performance from sophomore Imani Lacy, who saw her first game action since Dec. 21, scoring 12 points. Lacy was near perfect from the free throw line, knocking down 6-of-7.

For a second consecutive game the Pack got double figures from senior Marguerite Effa, who added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and two blocked shots. The fourth member of the Pack to hit points in double figures was junior Nia Alexander, who totaled 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Not to be overlooked was Maio, who dished out a career-best six assists to zero turnovers.

Overall Nevada finished with a positive assist to turnover ratio, dishing out 15 assists to 11 turnovers. The Wolf Pack defense forced Utah State into 19 turnovers and turned those into 21 points.

Nevada will hit the road next week and travel to Laramie, Wyo. to face the Cowgirls of Wyoming on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. PT.

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