Shorthanded Wolf Pack women win

RENO - It doesn't matter if the Nevada women's basketball team has eight or 15 players, the Wolf Pack will never shy away from trying to push the tempo as much as possible.

Even though Nevada had just eight players for Sunday's game at home against UC Riverside, that didn't stop the Wolf Pack from having their best offensive performance during the Ada Gee era. The 93 points the Wolf Pack put up in its 93-66 win over the Highlanders was the most ever scored by a Gee-coached team at Nevada.

Certainly, the level of opponent helped the Wolf Pack put up those kind of numbers. But the effort was still impressive with only eight players.

With the flu bug hitting the team, several of Nevada's players had to sit out, including Hawthorne's Ashley Orndorff. Gee said she hopes to be at full strength again when the Wolf Pack travels this week to Idaho State and Utah.

"It seemed we had more people in street clothes," said Kate Smith, who led Nevada with 25 points.

Despite another slow start in which Nevada trailed 10-7 with 14 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half, Nevada was still able to score 93 points. The Highlanders sat in a zone most of the game as well, making the effort even that much more impressive.

Smith admitted that Nevada was looking to put up big numbers against the Highlanders.

"We expect to dominate them," she said. "But obviously upsets happen."

Gee and the players said having only eight players didn't have much impact on the game plan.

"We just knew we had to come out and run and play our game," Smith said. "We've been practicing with eight all week. We knew we were going to have only eight."

Even though Smith was dominant inside against the smaller Highlanders, she also scored in transition.

"All of our post players can run the floor," Smith said. "It helps out our offense a lot."

Six of Nevada's eight players scored in double figures: Smith (25), Katie Golomb (14), Angie Heer (13), Jessica Larsen (12), Ashley Bastian (11) and Sarah Estrada (10).

"I think that kind of balance is excellent," Gee said.

But Gee also noted that her team had 21 turnovers.

"We need to take care of the ball better," she said.

In addition, Gee wasn't happy with her team's rebounding in the second half. Nevada outrebounded the Highlanders 28-7 in the first half, but finished with just a 54-32 advantage for the game.

"We let them be the aggressors on the boards," Gee said about the second half.

Gee and the players agreed they need to play better defense as well. "I think we're a lot better defensive team than we showed," Larsen said.

But the 93 points didn't surprise Gee.

"This is a team that is capable of putting up numbers," she said. "I thought there were some positives."

Bastian hit two three-pointers early in the second half that help break the game wide open. Bastian was asked after the game if she'd like to shoot from half court when she's feeling it like that.

"There's no way I'd shoot that far," she said. "I'd get in trouble. I missed some I should have made."

While Bastian said she is counted on for her outside shooting against a zone, she too noted that Nevada's offense begins in transition.

"That's the style we want to play," she said. "We want to play up tempo."

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