Jan. 2, 2007
(San Francisco) - USF women's basketball took on Nevada in its final non-conference game of the season and seized a 65-55 victory Tuesday night at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (6-9) have won back-to-back games heading into the West Coast Conference schedule and avenged a road loss to the Wolf Pack (6-7) in Reno last season.
San Francisco did an outstanding job shooting the ball, converting on .512 (21-41) for the game, but were even more impressive at the free throw line, connecting on .870 (20-23), including 16-of-17 in the second half. The Dons made eight consecutive free throws - all in the final 1:07 in the contest to seal the win.
Sophomore guard Shay Rollins scored a team-high 16 points and has averaged 14.0 points per game over her last four contests. Rollins converted on 4-of-8 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Junior guard Dominique Carter added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while senior center Nickie Warren scored 11 points to go along with four boards. Junior center Lisa Olden also enjoyed a strong effort, scoring eight points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds.
"This was a great team win for us," USF head coach Tanya Haave said. "I am proud of the effort the team made - especially after trailing early. We need to make better decisions out there and take better care of the basketball, but this was an important win for us heading into the West Coast Conference schedule."
San Francisco trailed early but battled back courtesy of some strong shooting in the opening period. The Dons connected on .522 (12-23) from the field and held a 19-12 rebound advantage. Carter led all scorers in the opening period with 10 points and five rebounds, while Warren added seven points. Neither team took care of the basketball in a sloppy opening 20 minutes as they combined for 27 turnovers.
After the intermission, the Dons worked on extending their lead and built a 10 point 45-35 advantage with 9:21 remaining in regulation off a Warren lay-up. USF built its biggest lead at 12, 47-35 on a pair of Olden free throws with 8:40 left. The Wolf Pack mounted a late charge, cutting the deficit to six, 57-51 with 1:12 to go and again with 0:48 on the clock, but the Dons converted at the charity stripe.
Sophomore guard Brandi Fitzgerald scored a team-high 17 points, while sophomore guard Dellena Criner chipped in 10 for the Wolf Pack. Nevada shot .349 (22-63) from the field for the game. San Francisco won the battle of the boards 38-29, helping to offset 30 turnovers as the two teams combined for 52 in the contest.
USF travels to Southern California to open the 2007 West Coast Conference campaign when it takes on San Diego Sunday, January 7. Tip-off against the Toreros is set for 2:00 PM at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.