Another Year, Another Win Over UNR
Jan. 30, 2013
RENO, Nev. (UNLVRebels.com) - Kelli Thompson scored a team-high 20 points and UNLV held a 20-point advantage in the paint on the way to a 66-61 conference road victory at Nevada, Reno on Wednesday night in Mountain West women's basketball action from Lawlor Events Center. The Lady Rebels not only posted their fifth straight win in the series against their in-state rivals, they also claimed their first road win of the season to improve to 7-13 overall. The win moves them to 3-3 in the conference, good for a tie for fourth place along with Boise State. UNR meanwhile dropped to 6-13, 1-5 in MW play.
"I thought it was a really great game tonight", said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier, who recorded her 299th career victory with the win. "UNR was aggressive at the start, but we started to mix up our defenses which seems to make them rush some shots. At the end they started to heat up from three-point range, and we were able to keep our poise and match their intensity to come out with a big road win."
UNLV held a 33-27 halftime edge, and then gave up the first basket of the second half that closed the edge to four points. The Lady Rebels allowed just two points over the next six minutes of the game, and reeled off 10 points of their own during that stretch. Thompson scored the first seven points of the run, while Briana Charles recorded the last three, all at the free throw line, to give UNLV a 43-31 edge with 14:07 to play in the second half.
The lead was still at 10, 50-40, before the Wolf Pack rallied. They cut the lead to four twice, and after UNLV's Amanda Anderson sank a jumper for a 58-50 lead, Danika Sharp nailed back-to-back treys. That made the UNLV edge just two points, 58-56 with 3:20 to play, the closest the Wolf Pack was since the score was 11-9. Thompson hit a big three on the other end to put the Lady Rebels back up by five with under three to play. It was a two-possession lead for UNLV the rest of the way until the final seconds. UNLV missed three straight attempts at the line, while Sharp hit her fifth three-pointer of the night to make it a 64-61 game with 19 seconds to play. Rmanii Haynes sealed the game with a pair of free throws to put UNLV up 66-61, and UNR would miss its final shot attempt.
Coming up big in the first half for the Lady Rebels was the freshmen post combo of Réjane Vérin and Amie Callaway. Starting together for the first time this season, the tandem would combine for 18 points and nine rebounds in the first 20 minutes, far ahead of their season averages. The Wolf Pack would actually take a 4-0 lead 83 seconds into the contest. UNLV would counter with a 9-0 run and would never trail again in the contest. A jumper by Vérin gave UNLV a 13-9 edge, and the lead would be between four-six points for the rest of the half.
In addition to her 20 points, Thompson also connected on three treys in the game, making her the all-time career three-point field goal leader at UNLV with 215. She had entered the game tied with Gwynn Hobbs (1992-95) with 212. Callaway finished in double figures as well with 12, her highest point total since the second game of the year when she scored 14 against Arizona. She added a game-high eight rebounds, while Vérin posted nine points, seven rebounds. Danielle Miller posted eight points, all in the second half.
UNLV shot 42.6% (23-of-54) for the game, was 3-of-11 from three-point range for 27.3% and 17-of-26 for 65.4% at the charity stripe. UNLV was outrebounded by one, 40-39, but held slight edges on the night in points off turnovers (14-13), second chance points (17-15) and fast break points (8-2). The biggest difference however was in the post, with a 38-18 advantage in points in the paint.
UNR was paced by Sharp's 22 points. Emily Burns was the next highest scorer with nine. The Wolf Pack was held to 35.4% (23-of-65) from the floor, 31.6% (6-of-19) from downtown, and 9-of-15 at the free throw line for 60%.
The Lady Rebels return to action on Saturday, Feb. 2 when they host Boise State at 3 pm in the Cox Pavilion. Saturday is also National Girls and Women in Sports Day at UNLV, with a pre-game all-sports clinic at 12:30 pm, while tickets for the game are 2-for-1. Kids 12 and under are always free to UNLV women's basketball games.