Cesarz Leads Lady Rebels To 90-76 Win
Jan. 29, 2014
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Alana Cesarz's career-high 28 points led four players in double figures as UNLV posted a 90-76 victory over San Jose State on Wednesday night in Mountain West women's basketball action from the Cox Pavilion. With the victory, the Lady Rebels moved up into a tie for second place in the conference at 6-2 along with Boise State, one game out of first place.
Against a Spartan (8-12, 2-7 MW) team looking to push the pace on offense at every change, UNLV (9-11 overall) was able to counter that by scoring inside against the smaller SJSU squad. The Lady Rebels finished the game with a 46-18 edge on points inside the paint, while also holding a 49-35 edge on the boards. Cesarz meanwhile had one of the best shooting games of her career, as the junior forward finished the game 11-of-15 from the floor, including a career-best 5-of-5 from three-point range. She also added 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.
After shooting 35.7% in the first half, UNLV made 20-of-35 in the second half for 57.1%, and finished the game at 45.5% (35-of-77). The Lady Rebels made 6-of-10 from three-point range for 60%, and hit 14-of-17 at the free throw line for 82.4%. The Lady Rebels posted a season-high 26 assists and added 11 steals. Joining Cesarz in double-figures was Danielle Miller with 15 points, Aley Rohde with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Amie Callaway also came off the bench with 11 points. Rmanii Haynes dished out a season-high 11 assists for UNLV.
"I thought we did a really good job of knowing our focus tonight," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "Our focus was to play together, and 26 assists mean you're playing together, we didn't really share the ball well in our last game (loss to Fresno State), but we did tonight. We did a really good job of seeing our posts , and if we're not getting the ball inside to our posts we were attacking the paint from outside. I also felt that we didn't get caught up in their game too much and attempt too many threes. Their tempo can encourage a team to shoot too much from outside, but we only took the good looks from outside, hitting 60% on our threes."
SJSU held a lead for the first three minutes, with its largest advantage of the game 7-4 thanks to a three-pointer from Ta'Rea Cunnigan. UNLV countered with a 7-0 spurt, and never trailed again. The Lady Rebels used a 6-0 midway through the half to go ahead 25-16 on a jumper from Cesarz at the 8:27 mark. The Lady Rebels couldn't shake the Spartans in the opening half, with SJSU closing to within one twice, the last on a three-pointer from Rebecca Woodberry with just over a minute left in the half. Cesarz drained a jumper with 50 seconds to play, and Rohde tipped-in a shot at the buzzer to give UNLV a 43-38 halftime advantage.
UNLV scored the first five points of the second half to go up 48-38. A 5-1 run by Cunningan brought SJSU within six, but UNLV would quickly push the edge back to double-digits, and the lead stayed between 8-15 points for the next 11:30 of the game. The Spartans made one final run in the second half, holding UNLV scoreless over a 3:38 span while reeling off seven straight to make the score 73-68 with 5:14 on the clock.
The Lady Rebels then shut out the game by scoring 16 of the next 19 points, opening up their largest lead of the game at 89-71 with a minute to play. The 90 points scored by UNLV were the most since a 93-46 win over Columbia on Dec. 29, 2010. It was the most points by the Lady Rebels in a Mountain West game since a 91-57 win at Air Force on Jan. 29, 2004.
SJSU was paced by Cunnigan's 25 points, with Woodberry also reaching 20 points. Classye James was the third player in double-figures with 10. The Spartans shot 39.4% (26-of-66) from the floor, were 9-of-26 from three-point range for 34.6%, and 15-of-19 at the line for 78.9%.
Next up for the Lady Rebels is a road contest at Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 1 pm (PT) in Boise, Idaho.
Full recap available here