Anderson, Lady Rebels Shoot Down 1st Place New Mexico 56-42|
Jan. 11, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -
UNLV played one of its most inspiring games in years, and sophomore Alyssa Anderson turned in a near school record performance from three-point range to lead the Lady Rebels to a 56-42 victory over first-place New Mexico in Mountain West women's basketball action on Wednesday night from the Cox Pavilion. The Lady Rebels had just eight players available for the contest, including five players who had a combined one career start between them, but they would hold the Lobos to their lowest point total of the season by 10 points. With its third straight win, UNLV improved to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in league play to move into fourth place. UNM dropped to 8-7 and 4-1 in the conference as its four-game win streak was snapped.
The Lady Rebels jumped out to a big first quarter lead after hitting 5-of-8 from three-point range on the way to a 23-8 advantage. Anderson, who scored three points in the first four league games of the year, knocked down three treys in the first three minutes of the game, giving UNLV an 11-3 lead. A pair of three-pointers from Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez, sandwiched around a jumper from Dakota Gonzalez, gave the Lady Rebels a 23-8 advantage with 4:08 left in the first quarter, and that would be the same score at the end of the quarter as well. UNLV shot 47% in the quarter, while UNM was just 3-of-17 for 17.6%, and missed all seven attempts from downtown. The Lobos would end the game missing all 19 of its attempts from behind the arc.
Shooting for both teams in the second quarter were low, 25% for UNLV and 19% for the Lobos, but UNM hit four-of-six at the line to cut a point off the lead and close out the first half trailing 34-20. The lead had grown to as high as 19 in the quarter for UNLV at 31-12 on Anderson's fourth trey of the game. The Lobos closed within 12 after a 7-0 run that made the score 31-19. UNLV's Rodjanae Wade hit a jumper and added a free throw to help push the lead back to 34-20 going into the break.
UNLV's defense was again on display to open the third quarter, holding the Lobos to just one three-point play for the first five minutes. While the Lady Rebs only scored five of their own, all from Wade, they still led 39-23 with 4:45 left in the third quarter. UNM again ended on a run, scoring 10 of the last 12 points to cut the edge to single digits, 41-33, going into the final quarter. Mykiel Burleson opened the fourth with a jumper to bring the Lobos within 41-35. UNLV would take over with a pair of runs to clinch the victory. First, a 6-0 run with baskets from Dakota Gonzalez and Destiney Lee along with a pair of Brooke Johnson free throws pushed the edge back to double-digits, 47-35 at the seven minute mark. UNM answered with four straight to cut the lead to eight, 47-39 at the 4:34 mark. The Lady Rebels sealed the game by hitting three straight three-pointers, two from Anderson, for a 56-39 lead at the 2:51 mark.
In addition to their shooting from downtown, another key for UNLV in the win was its play on the boards. The Lobos came into the game with a +14 rebound margin in MW play, but it was the Lady Rebels who controlled the boards on Wednesday with a 51-49 advantage. Making that margin even more impressive, UNLV had to play the contest without its top three post players, including two that ranked in the top 20 in the league in rebounds per game.
Anderson finished with 18 points in her first career start to lead all scorers, while her 6-of-7 shooting on three-pointers tied for the second-best mark (85.7%) ever in a UNLV game, along with InFini Robinson against San Diego State on Jan. 17, 2004. It also easily topped her previous career-high of eight points, set in the season-opener against Concordia. Wade, a freshman also making her first career start, nearly doubled her season point total as she just missed out on a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Also in double-figures was Dakota Gonzalez with 16 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the year. UNLV finished the game shooting 30.3% (20-of-66), made 10-of-29 from three-point range for 34.5% and 6-of-10 at the line for 60%.
UNM was held under 20% in three of the four quarters, and finished at 21.9% (14-of-64) for the night. The Lobos did hit 14-of-21 from the free throw line for 66.7%. Leading the team was Richelle van der Keijl with 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Jaisa Nunn posted 14 off the bench.
UNLV has the weekend off before returning to action Wednesday with a road contest at San Diego State with a 6:30 pm tip.