San Jose, Calif. - Myesha Broaden, who had her third double double in the last four games, hit a layup with 38 seconds to play to give the San Jose State women's basketball team (10-16, 5-6 WAC) a 64-61 lead which they turned into a 70-63 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack on Wednesday night in The Event Center.
"Every possession is very important especially when you are getting to the end of the game," Broaden said. "We did a good job closing the game out tonight. Brittany (Johnson) made a good pass and I was able to finish with a layup. We continue to get better and show that we can close out close games."
Broaden finished with 13 points and a game high 13 rebounds as the Spartans swept the season series from Nevada (5-21, 1-10 WAC) for the first time since 2005-06. With its 10th win overall and its fifth in WAC play, San Jose State has now won more games and more conference games than in any year since the 2005-06 season, as well.
Brittany Johnson, the nation's 20th leading scorer, bettered her season average of 19.6 points with a 23 point night. In addition to her double double, Broaden had three steals and a career-high four blocked shots.
The Wolf Pack jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first three minutes. The teams traded the lead four times until, with 6:31 to go in the half, the game was tied at 17-17. Ta'Rea Cunnigan, who finished with 15 points, three assists and three steals, hit a jumper and two possessions later Johnson hit one and a free throw to give San Jose State a five point advantage. Nevada's Kate Kevorken then canned a 3-pointer to make the score 22-20 with 4:05 to go before halftime.
The Spartans forced three of their 24 turnovers on the night in the last three minutes of the half and went on a 10-to-0 run to end the first period with a 32-20 advantage. The run was sparked by a Rachel Finnegan 3-pointer and finished with a Plavljanin trey with five seconds to go. Plavljanin would finish the night with 11 points, five assists and two steals.
In the second half, San Jose State would push its advantage to 15 points, 50-35, with 10:31 to play. But as in each of its last five games, the Spartans saw the opponent make a run and turn a double digit deficit into a close game.
With 6:00 left the San Jose State still had a 10-point lead, 57-47. Kevorken hit a 3-pointer to trim the lead to seven and when she hit another with 1:12 to play the Spartans advantage was down to just one point, 62-61.
After the Broaden layup, the Spartans hit all six of their free throws in the final 22 seconds to secure the victory.
"We stuck together tonight," Johnson said. "We knew we weren't playing up to our potential and had to step it up. In the end we did and that was the difference."
Nevada was led by Kevorken's 20 points and 11 rebounds and Chanelle Brennan added 17. First-team Preseason All-WAC selection Kayla Williams was held to eight points.
"We knew coming into the game that (Kayla Williams) would be a big threat for them," Broaden said. "The coaches told us to key on her and I knew it was my job to shut her down. I really focused on keeping her off the boards and not letting her get the ball where she was comfortable."
The Spartans host their final home game, Senior Night, on Saturday, February 25 in The Event Center against Fresno State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with the Senior Night ceremonies taking place prior to tipoff.