Jan. 10, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - @UNLVLadyRebels | UNLV Box Score
Senior guard Brooke Johnson led four Lady Rebels in double-figures with 20 points, and UNLV overcame 22 turnovers thanks to shooting a season-high 54.5% from the floor on the way to a 69-57 victory over Air Force in Mountain West women's basketball action from the Cox Pavilion. With its third straight victory, UNLV (9-7) moved into a tie for first place in the league along with Wyoming, as both teams hold 3-1 records in conference play.
The Lady Rebels trailed for only 51 seconds in the game but couldn't put any distance between themselves and the Falcons until the fourth quarter. That was due to Air Force's pressure defense, which forced the Lady Rebels into 14 first half turnovers, including eight in the first quarter. Though that only led to a 12-9 advantage on points off turnovers, it helped limit the total UNLV possessions, resulting in the Falcons taking 16 more field goals in the game. The Falcons also shined behindthe three-point line, hitting 8-of-17 for the game, highlighted by Kaelin Immel's 6-of-8 night on the way to 25 points.
UNLV eventually wore down the Falcons with its size inside, and would finish the night with a 37-26 edge on the boards. Post players Katie Powell, Paris Strawther and Jordyn Bell combined for 44 points on 16-of-27 shooting, while outside of Immel, the rest of the Falcon team was held to just 13-of-46 from the floor for the night.
THE TURNING POINT: The Falcons closed within 49-48 on a pair of Immel free throws with 1:43 to play in the third quarter. UNLV would then force Air Force to miss 10 of its next 12 shots, while turning the ball over five times over the next nine minutes of the contest. The Lady Rebels meanwhile knocked down 6-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-7 at the line over that stretch, using the 18-5 run to open up a 14-point advantage with just under two minutes to play.
LADY REBEL OF THE GAME: Johnson reached 20 points for the third time this season and added five assists. She was 6-of-6 at the free throw line, and is a perfect 24-of-24 at the charity stripe in league play through four games.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV again dominated play inside with a 38-14 advantage on points in the paint.
"I thought we did a better job after halftime of taking care of the ball and executing but to be honest, it was all triggered by our defense. We were active, we were in the pasing lanes, we were getting on the boards. I thought we also had great contributions off the bench from Simone Sheppard, Kennedy Wharton and RJ Wade."
- UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier
LADY REBEL NOTES:
* UNLV won despite shooting 2-of-10 from three-point range for 20%.
* For the sixth straight game the Lady Rebels shot at least 75% or better at the free throw line, hitting 19-of-23 for 82.6%.
* UNLV is now 23-0 all-time against Air Force in Las Vegas.
NEXT FOR THE LADY REBELS: UNLV will have its second bye of the league schedule this weekend before returning to action on Wednesday, Jan. 17, with a road contest against New Mexico in The Pitt in Albuquerque at 6 pm (PT).