Nevada women beat San Francisco
Appeal News Service
RENO – Jessica Preslar scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Nevada overcome a sluggish start in its 59-53 win over San Francisco Saturday before 255 fans at Lawlor Events Center.
“Coach told us to go out there and start having fun,” Preslar said. “I’m just trying to have fun out there.”
Nevada finishes its non-conference schedule with a 3-8 mark. The Pack begin the Western Athletic Conference season on Thursday when they host Hawai’i at 7:05 p.m. Nevada upset Hawai’i in last year’s WAC tournament.
Nevada coach Kim Gervasoni was pleased with her team cutting its turnovers by almost half.
“Our goal was under 20 turnovers. We took very good care of the ball,” Gervasoni said of her team, which committed only 11 turnovers. The Pack generally average more than 20 turnovers a game.
Meghan McGuire and Brandi Fitzgerald each scored eight points and Dellena Criner added seven. Fitzgerald also led the team with nine rebounds.
Nykia Peace led the Dons in scoring with 11 points, Nickie Warren added 10, and Jennifer Jones and Danae Wellander each had nine.
“We actually played pretty good at Northern Arizona,” Gervasoni said of Wednesday’s 66-58 loss. “We are playing better now.”
With the WAC season beginning on Thursday, Gervasoni envisions the slate of a 3-8 record nonexistent.
“It’s a new season. We’re 0-0,” she added. “We have to focus on conference now.
“The WAC is going to be tough. We open with Hawai’i. They’re a very good team. I told them every game in the WAC is going to be tough.”
Gervasoni said the key to placing in the upper quartile of the WAC is winning on the road.
“You have to win on the road,” she said. “They have be able to finish the game on the road.”
Something that rarely happens in college basketball is a sibling feud.
Nevada’s Andrea Sitton faced her sister, Breann Sitton, in the second half when Andrea even grabbed a rebound over her sister.
“It was interesting and exciting,” said Andrea, who scored two points. “I was glad we got to guard each other.”
Gervasoni said the Sitton sisters guarding each other happened on accident.
“That wasn’t planned. It worked out that way,” Gervasoni added.
“I forgotten how tall she is,” Andrea said of her sister, who holds a two-inch height advantage at 6-foot-4. “It wasn’t weird at all. It was just like old times now.
“I thought we played really well today. We had more energy out there on the court.”
Nevada missed its first nine field goals in the first half before Nicole Hayman laced a jumper to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 13:50 left in the half.
Gervasoni pointed out Nevada would have had a difficult time rebounding from the scoring drought if the USF game was earlier in the season.
“It took us a while to settle in,” Gervasoni said. “We missed some early shots inside. They bounced back.”
The Pack eventually tied the game at 9 on Criner’s 3-pointer and took their first lead, 13-11, on Fitzgerald’s fancy drive to the hoop with 10:45 left in the half.
Nevada ended the half ahead 29-24 after Hayman sunk a free throw within the final minute.