Nevada women win in exhibition

RENO - Four players scored in double figures to lead the Nevada women's basketball team to an 81-55 exhibition win over Sonoma State Saturday afternoon before 1,047 fans at Lawlor Events Center.

Meghan McGuire led all scorers with 23 points, including four 3-pointers, Brandi Fitzgerald added 15 points and Traci Graham and Sabrina Keys each had 10.

Nevada begins its regular season on Friday as the Pack travel to Portland State. The first home game for Nevada is slated for Dec. 2 when the Pack host the John Ascuaga Nugget Classic.

"We worked pretty hard this week during practice taking care of the ball," McGuire said.

As a result of better ball control, Nevada committed only 15 turnovers and forced 22, including 13 steals, upon Sonoma State.

"We have the talent to be one of the top defensive/rebounding teams in the conference," said Nevada coach Kim Gervasoni. "They're all talented. They have a lot of composure, they're poised. I feel blessed to have so many talented players."

After surrendering 80-plus points in the team's first exhibition game last weekend, Gervasoni saw improvement against Sonoma State and looks forward to starting the regular season this week.

"There's a different ora with this team," she said. "They're ready to play and they're ready to compete this year."

"The focus is a lot more on defense this year," McGuire added. "We try to play a little more intense."

Offensively, McGuire said the transition defense is creating opportunities for the Pack to score.

"We got a lot of talent on this team," McGuire said. "People will get points in transition."

One of the talented players recruited during the off-season, Fitzgerald took advantage of her speed to lead the team in steals with three. Graham also had three steals.

"It's not only a good game for me, it's a good game for the team," Fitzgerald said.

Gervasoni said she was pleased with the production of her freshmem - Fitzgerald, Nicole Hayman and Dellena Criner.

"They just want to put the program on the map," Gervasoni said. "Our team has to buy into that. It's a team game."


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