RENO - The University of Nevada women's basketball team could have had its share of reasons for its less than stellar play in an exhibition game against KSC Szekszard of Hungary. But that wouldn't be the Wolf Pack's style.
Nevada isn't exactly a healthy team as it enters the season with high hopes and the Wolf Pack couldn't be blamed for looking past Sunday's exhibition game to their own tournament this weekend. But the Nevada players didn't offer any excuses after blowing an 18-point lead before pulling out a 66-61 win over KSC at the Lawlor Events Center.
"Honestly I thought it was really mediocre," said Katie Golomb about Nevada's performance. "It's better to have a mediocre exhibition game than our first game."
Golomb had 18 points and 13 rebounds in her first game back from a foot injury. Golomb had a scary moment near the end of the game when it appeared she may have reinjured the foot.
"I thought it probably scared her more than anything," Nevada coach Ada Gee said.
Which is good since the Wolf Pack will need Golomb up front when the season begins on Friday in their own tournament against Memphis, especially with the uncertain status of front line players Kate Smith and Aqueelah Thompson.
Smith began practice on Friday after undergoing foot surgery, but her status for this weekend is uncertain.
"I don't know if we'll have her for the tournament or not," Gee said. "I'm optimistic that we will but we'll see."
Thompson has constantly battled knee injuries and she still hasn't been cleared to play.
During Sunday's game, guard Ashley Bastian played with a sore ankle that she sprained on Wednesday and point guard Laura Ingham played with a bruised elbow.
Nevada has one week to work through the bumps and bruises before it begins a tough non-conference schedule that will feature six teams that are in the top 25 or have received votes, including Louisiana Tech and USC. If the Wolf Pack can beat Memphis, they would play No. 16 Baylor or North Texas, which has received votes to be ranked.
"I thought we played a little bit lackluster and sloppy which is disappointing," said Gee about Sunday. "I don't feel we executed as well as we can. We'll certainly have a lot of work this week."
The Wolf Pack built a 42-24 lead early in the second half before KSC closed to within 51-49 on Vanda Volcyesi's three-pointer. Ingham responded with a three to make it 54-49, but Eva Stotkovich hit a trey for KSC to tie the score 54-54.
Nevada, though, responded with an 8-0 run to put the game away. The Wolf Pack made 6-of-8 foul shots and Bastian hit a baseline jumper to give Nevada a 62-54 lead.
Bastian struggled from the floor, shooting 3-for-10. But she wouldn't blame her ankle. "I can't make any excuses for that," she said.
"It will be all right," she also said about her ankle. "It's just a little painful."
Gee said she was pleased with the poise her team showed at the end of the game. "We could have folded," she said.
Ingham scored 16 points, freshman guard Amber Stimac had 11 points, Bastian scored 10 points and Sarah Estrada grabbed 14 rebounds. The difference of the game came at the foul line where Nevada was 24-of-33 while KSC was 12-of-16.
"I was kind of nervous going into it," said Golomb about her first game back. "I got my confidence more as the game went on."