Pack women look for strong road show | NevadaAppeal.com

Pack women look for strong road show

When Nevada’s women’s basketball team continues its season-long five-game road trip today at Santa Clara (2 p.m. tip-off), it will be a reunion for the Wolf Pack’s Kim Gervasoni and the Broncos’ Michelle-Bento-Jackson.

Both coaches played and graduated from Fresno State.

Gervasoni, who played for the legendary Bob Spencer, graduated in 1989 with a major in exercise physiology.

Bento-Jackson graduated in 1992 after being the team captain and MVP in 1991. She majored in physical education.

Wins on the road have been tough to come by for the Wolf Pack. When Nevada, 4-4 this year, knocked off Sacramento State recently, it broke a 21-game road and neutral court losing streak.

Gervasoni has stressed throughout the non-conference season that her team must learn to win away from home if it will have any success this year.

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When the team won its fourth game recently, it eclipsed the win total of last season (3-26). The game against the Broncos and the road contests at San Jose State (Thursday) and Hawai’i (Saturday) are games that the Wolf Pack have a definite chance to win.

Nevada currently is 3-1 at home, including an upset of Big 12 power Colorado in the Nugget Classic at Lawlor Events Center Nov 19-20.

• Kudos to San Jose State for the selection of Tom Bowen as its new athletic director.

The 43-year-old Bowen, who worked at De La Salle High, Saint Mary’s College and the University of California, left his fund-raising job with the 49ers to accept his new post.

Bowen’s first priority is hiring a head coach. Former University of Arizona coach Dick Tomey is said to be on the short list. Keith Burns, currently the Spartans’ defensive coordinator, was previously a head coach at Tulsa.

Bowen does have his hands full. Poor home attendance has put the Spartans on the NCAA’s watch list. And, to make matters worse, the school’s academic senate has publicly stated that the program should be abolished.

Bowen, in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, said that dropping football wasn’t the right thing to do at the present time. It’s not surprising that Bowen said that, considering he is a former high school assistant coach.

Bill Walsh, who guided the 49ers to two Super Bowl wins, was on the eight-person selection committee.

• SMU point guard Bryan Hopkins was named the men’s player of the week for the second straight week.

Hopkins, a junior from Dallas, Texas, scored 32 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out five assists in just 26 minutes of play in an 87-50 win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Dec. 20. The 32 points was the most by a WAC player this season. Hopkins hit all eight of his three-point attempts.

Nevada’s Kevinn Pinkney, who notched his eighth career double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) against UC Davis also was nominated.

Tulsa’s Jillian Robbins was named the WAC’s top female player for the second time this season.

Robbins, a sophomore, turned in the fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds in a 79-71 road win over Santa Clara. Robbins also played a big role on the defensive end of the floor, helping hold the Broncos, who averaged 9.4 three-pointers per game, to only three three-pointers.

It was Robbins’ 13th double-double of her brief career.

• Rice certainly is backing down from tough competition. The Owls lost by nine at UConn and lost by 16 at Syracuse. The Owls are currently 5-3.

• Hawai’i is the only unbeaten team in the WAC (8-0), and it’s easy to see why. The Rainbows have Julian Sensley, one of the top players in the conference, and they have only played one game on the mainland. Hawai’i beat USC to win its own Outrigger Classic crown last week.

• Tickets are now on sale for this year’s WAC basketball tournament at Lawlor Events Center. The tourmnament runs March 8-12. SportsWest will televise all four men’s quarterfinals and both semifinal games. The final will be shown on ESPN2.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1281.