Win Streak At Five For First Place Lady Rebels
Jan. 22, 2014
LOGAN, Utah (UNLVRebels.com) - Thanks to a 13-2 run to finish the first half and an 11-4 run to end the game, the UNLV women's basketball team survived a bizarre second half and moved into a tie for first place in the Mountain West with its fifth straight win, 73-67 at Utah State on Wednesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Four Lady Rebel starters fouled out of the game, but UNLV held the Aggies to a season-low in points to improve to 8-10 overall. The five-game win streak for UNLV ties its longest since ending the 2011-12 regular season with five straight. UNLV also moved to 5-1 in league play, which not only moved the Lady Rebels into a tie for first place in the conference (along with Colorado State), it also matches the 2003-04 and 2011-12 squads for best-ever start in MW play
"I have to give it up to our subs, they did a great job coming in and keeping composure," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "Because we were hitting our threes, we kept care of the ball, that was big in getting us the win. It was tough being in foul trouble so much, but we are happy to get out of here with the win. We just don't have the word fold in us right now. We have a very determined group, a lot of different people we can turn to, that stepped up in the first or second half. Our post players made some key plays in the final minutes to preserve the win."
UNLV held a 43-33 halftime edge, the third straight game it had set a new season high for first half points. After a fast paced first half, the game slowed down over the final 20 minutes as a total of 32 fouls were called against both teams, 15 on UNLV and 17 on Utah State. The lead was stretched to 11 points on a layup by Rejane Verin with 16:07 to play in the game. Foul trouble then started to affect the Lady Rebels, who were forced to sit starters Aley Rohde and Rmanii Haynes after picking up their fourth and third fouls. Utah State took advantage by holding UNLV to just one point over a four-minute span while reeling off eight of its own to close within 49-45. UNLV used two treys from Amanda Anderson to keep the lead at two possessions, and led 59-53 on a layup from Danielle Miller with just over 10 minutes to play.
UNLV then took a hit when Mia Bell was issued her fourth foul and a technical foul, sending her to the bench with 9:47 to play. Jennifer Schlott, the MW's leading scorer, made the four ensuring free throws to make it a two-point game, and that started an 8-1 run that put the Aggies up 61-60 at the 8:44 mark. The lead changed twice more, and then was tied on a free throw by Aggie Lynette Johnson with 4:19 to play that made it a 64-64 contest. UNLV would not allow a point for the next two minutes, and scored six of their own to open up a 70-64 edge on a jumper from Alana Cesarz. Utah State scored on the other end to close within 70-66, and the teams then each turned the ball over on its next possessions. Rohde made one of two at the line to put UNLV back up by five, and the Aggies could only manage one free throw over the final minute, with the Lady Rebels taking the road victory.
The Lady Rebels led almost the entire first half, going up 16-6 six minutes into the contest, with six different players scoring at least two points at the start. The lead was still in double-digits, 27-17, before the Aggies made a run. A 14-2 spurt by the home team put Utah State up 31-30 on a layup from Schlott with 2:41 to play. UNLV quickly answered with a trey from Haynes, which started the 13-2 half-ending run. Bell made four free throws during that run, while Cesarz buried two treys in the final minute for the 10-point halftime edge.
Cesarz was one of four players in double-figures for UNLV with 14 points and seven rebounds. Miller was next with 13 points, while Bell added 12 and Verin 11. UNLV shot 44.4% (24-of-54) for the game, was 8-of-16 from three-point range for 50%, and 17-of-25 from the line for 68%. UNLV was outrebounded by a 44-34 margin and turned the ball over 14 times to 13 for the Aggies.
Schlott led all scorers with 24 points for Utah State. Franny Vaaulu added 17, while Stephanie Bairstow posted five points and 10 rebounds. The Aggies shot 39.7% (27-of-68) for the game, were 0-for-12 from three-point range, and 13-of-17 at the line for 76.5%.
UNLV will play a second straight road game on Saturday, when it takes on Fresno State at 2 pm.