Lady Rebels Dealt 66-48 Loss By Rams
Feb. 5, 2014
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV fell behind by 15 points at halftime and couldn't make up any ground in the second half, falling by a 66-48 score to the conference leading Colorado State Rams on Wednesday night in Mountain West women's basketball action from the Cox Pavilion. Suffering consecutive losses for the first time in MW play this season, the Lady Rebels fell to 9-13 overall, 6-4 in the league, while the Rams improved to 17-4, 9-1 in the MW.
"Tonight we wanted to be pro-active and not reactive, but I felt in the game we were a little reactive," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "Colorado State is the first place team for a reason. They are very long which allows them to cover a lot of ground with their zone. They have some good shooters which makes them really good offensively."
The game was close for the first 12 minutes, as the Rams jumped out to a 13-7 lead but the Lady Rebels kept within striking distance. A three-pointer from Mia Bell cut the lead to 17-13 with 8:40 on the clock. The Rams then got hot on offense, knocking down four straight shots, including a three-pointer from Elin Gustavsson to begin the run, and a four-point play by Gritt Ryder at the 5:40 mark to complete an 11-2 spurt. That put CSU ahead by a 28-17 score, and UNLV would not come closer then nine points the rest of the game. The last time the edge was in single digits was with 1:47 left after Rejane Verin converted a layup. CSU ended the half on a 6-0 run to go ahead 36-21 at the break.
UNLV struggled against the Colorado State zone in the first half, ending the first 20 minutes with more turnovers (11) then field goals (nine). The Lady Rebels also couldn't get to the line in the first half, while CSU was 7-of-9, and also shot 44.8% from the floor in the opening stanza.
The second half saw UNLV close to within 12 on a three-pointer by Bell with 17:40 to play, 38-26, and her third trey of the night made the deficit 46-33 with 12:26 on the clock. UNLV would then miss its next seven shots from the floor, and CSU took advantage with a 12-3 spurt, opening up a 58-36 edge with 6:31 to play, the Rams' largest lead of the night.
"This is our second straight game where we haven't scored much, and its hard to win when you're not putting points up," said Olivier. "I was happy with the leadership from Mia tonight while Rejane came off the bench and played really well. In the second half I thought we were more active, but we need that kind of energy in the first half as well."
Verin led the Lady Rebels with 14 points off the bench. Also in double-figures was Bell with 13 and Alana Cesarz with 10. Danielle Miller, one of the Lady Rebels' top scorers this season, was held to just two points on 1-of-14 shooting. As a team, UNLV shot 31.7% (19-of-60) from the floor, was 5-of-21 from three-point range for 23.8%, and made 5-of-8 at the line for 62.5%. The free throws made and attempts were both season lows for UNLV. The Lady Rebels did hold a 42-39 edge on the boards, but turned the ball over 19 times. More importantly, UNLV forced a season-low 10 turnovers by its opponent, after entering the night forcing 19 a game.
Gustavsson paced the Rams with a game-high 26 points on 12-of-21 shooting. Also in double-figures was Sam Martin and Gritt Ryder, both with 10 points each. CSU shot 38.6% (22-of-57) for the game, was 4-of-22 from three-point range for 18.2%, and made 18-of-24 at the line for 75%.
The Lady Rebels return to action on Saturday against the Wyoming Cowgirls at 1 pm (PT) in Laramie, Wyo.