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Athletics

Late Heroics Key Tigers' Comeback OT Win At Nevada

Dec 1, 2011

The Pacific Tigers erased a 10-point deficit with 2:12 remaining and took over in overtime for a 75-70 win at Nevada Wedneday night at Lawlor Events Center to earn their third-straight victory.

Pacific (3-3) scored eight unanswered points in 1:41 to tie the game and force overtime.

Down 62-52, Gena Johnson drove to the hoop for an and-one. The Tigers followed her missed free throw to retain possession and Erica McKenzie hit a three to cut the deficit in half. Johnson then picked up a steal and fed McKenzie for another three as the Tigers scored eight points in 23 seconds.

Pacific held on the defensive end with Thompson pulling down the rebound, and Johnson then hit a jumper in the paint with 49 seconds to go to tie the game at 62-62.

The Tigers had a chance to win in regulation, as Wakefield forced a turnover, but the Tigers shot with four seconds remaining rimmed out and the horn sounded.

In overtime, Kevorken's three gave the 'Pack a 67-66 lead, but Ashley Wakefield hit a jumper for the lead with 1:39 to go, then picked up a rebound on the defensive end and the Tigers hit seven of eight free throws to close out the 75-70 victory.

McKenzie finished with a team-high 19 points while Wakefield added 17 and Johnson 15. Christina Thompson added 12 points for the Tigers.

The Tigers shot 32.6 percent for the game, but hit eight of their final 14 attempts and forced five steals in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime. Pacific forced 27 turnovers, recording 16 steals. McKenzie andSam Pettinger led with three steals each, while five players added two each.

Nevada (2-4) was led by 17 points from Danika Sharp, while Kevorken added 16 and Kayla Williams chipped in 10. The Wolf Pack shot 40.6 percent from the field, but the Tigers' had 22 more field goal attempts thanks to the turnover margin and 23 offensive rebounds.

Thompson tallied a pair of inside buckets, as the Tigers and Wolf Pack slugged it out early, 8-8. After Nevada surged ahead, 12-8, Gena Johnson and Sam Pettinger sparked Pacific to a 20-18 as Pettinger recorded a pair of steals and two baskets, while Johnson drove to the rim for two buckets.

But Nevada went on an 8-0 run and after Ashley Smith scored inside for Pacific, the Wolf Pack tallied the final six points of the half for a 14-2 run in the final 7:10 of the first frame.

Nevada held the Tigers to 26 percent shooting (11-of-42) in the first half, building a 32-22 lead at intermission. The Wolf Pack hit 11 of 23 attempts (48 percent) in the first half and hit nine of 10 free throws, while Pacific attempted just one.

Pacific opened the second-half with a 7-0 run, as Wakefield finished with an and-one, and Thompson scored two from the free throw line. But the Wolf Pack responded to a 9-2 run of their own to restore a double-digit lead

The Tigers cut the gap to six with 11:24 to go, at 47-41, on a Johnson jumper. But Nevada scored six straight to extend the lead back to 12.

After a pair of free throws by Wakefield, McKenzie came alive with a steal to setup Wakefield's lay-in to cut the Wolf Pack lead to eight. But Kate Kevorken hit a three for Nevada to restore an 11-point lead.

McKenzie hit her first three of the game with 3:56 to go, but Nevada's Channelle Brennan's jumper gave the Wolf Pack a 60-50 lead with 3:17 remaining. Wakefield and Kayla Williams traded jumpers to set the stage on the Tigers' comeback.

Pacific takes the lead in the all-time series, 13-12, as the two sides met for the first time since the 2000 season, when the Wolf Pack were members of the Big West.

The Tigers will have eight days off before taking on SEC foe Florida on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton.

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