RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada women’s basketball team (3-2) will open the 2013 John Ascuaga’s Nugget Classic against Idaho (3-2) Friday night at Lawlor Events Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. No. 20 California (3-2) will face Wake Forest (4-2) in the second game at 7:30 p.m. The Wolf Pack will play in the 5:30 p.m. game in day two of the tournament on Saturday, facing either Cal or Wake Forest. Fans who attend the Nevada-BYU football game are encouraged to bring their ticket to the game for free entrance on Saturday.
The Wolf Pack has been in the championship game of the Nugget Classic seven times in the last eight tournaments. Last season Nevada defeated Cleveland State 86-79 in the classic opener, before falling 73-61 to Toledo in the championship game.
Special pregame and halftime festivities are scheduled as part of Nevada’s partnership with Nike N7’s division that benefits Native American and Aboriginal communities in the USA and Canada. Sam McCracken, Nike’s Native American Business Manager and Chairman of the N7 Fund, will be on hand Friday following Nevada’s game to meet with fans in the Silver and Blue Room at Lawlor.
“We are very thankful for the John Ascuaga’s Nugget for sponsoring this tremendous annual event,” head coach Jane Albright said. “It is a chance for our community to see some of the best teams in the country and a chance for us to compete against them on our home floor. It is also a time when we honor our Native Americans with our Nike N7 game. This year will be especially exciting with our opener against Idaho, who won the WAC last year and went to the NCAA tourney. The team is excited to wear our new turquoise uniforms as ambassadors for N7. We are thankful to have great fans and we hope that they will come out to cheer us on during this exciting time.”
Former WAC mate Idaho (3-2) returns to Reno after having a three-game win streak snapped with a 74-64 loss at San Diego. The Vandals are led by Stacey Barr’s 15 ppg., and 8.4 rpg. Idaho leads the overall series with Nevada 18-16. In the last meeting, the Vandals defeated the Pack 87-86 in an overtime game during the 2011-12 season at Lawlor Events Center. Last season Idaho claimed a WAC championship, the team’s first since 1985. The Vandals were matched up with eventual national champion Connecticut on UConn’s home floor in the first round of the NCAA tournament, where they lost 105-37.
Cal enters the classic ranked No. 20 and is 3-2 on the year. The Bears are led by Reshanda Gray’s 16.4 ppg. Cal leads the overall series with Nevada 5-0. The two teams last met on a neutral court during the 2009-10 season, where the Bears defeated the Pack 85-60. The Bears finished the 2012-13 season with 32 wins as the Pac-12 regular season champion, before making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament where the team fell to Louisville 64-57 in the Final Four.
Wake Forest (4-2) is led by Chelsea Douglas who is averaging 23 ppg. The Demon Deacons are riding a four-game win streak. Wake Forest and Nevada have met once, facing each other last season where the Deacons knocked off the Wolf Pack 77-54 in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest ended its 2012-13 season 13-19, falling to No. 10 Maryland 92-81 in overtime of the ACC Tournament quarterfinal game.
All home games are available to watch online for free through the Mountain West Network via NevadaWolfPack.TV. A free Stretch Internet audio broadcast is available athttp://client.stretchinternet.com/client/nevada.portal.
N7 began with a vision. In 2000, Sam McCracken had the idea to sell Nike products directly to Native American tribes to support health promotion and disease prevention programs. Seven years after Nike’s Native American division began, the Nike design team collaborated with various community experts and tribal leaders to create footwear specifically for the Native American community, called Nike Air Native N7. All proceeds from the Air Native N7, which is sold through Native American community centers and tribes, are given back to youth sport and physical activity programs in Native communities across North America through the N7 Fund. Beginning in 2009, Nike expanded N7 product to include a N7 collection available for purchase by anyone inspired by Native athletes and the N7 Fund.
N7 is our commitment to bring sport and all of its benefits to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the United States and Canada. Through activity, competition and play you can unleash the power of your generation. You can grow up active and healthy. Sport gives you self-confidence, enabling you to be a force for positive change in your community. Nike N7 and the N7 Fund are aligned with Designed to Move, a growing community of public, private and civil sector organizations (including Nike) dedicated to ending the growing epidemic of physical inactivity.