Upset Bid Falls Short In 72-66 Loss
Feb. 6, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV nearly pulled off a big upset at home over first place Fresno State, but Rosie Moult's fifth trey of the night put the Bulldogs up four with over a minute to play and FSU made 9-of-10 free throws in the final minute to escape with the 72-66 victory in Mountain West women's basketball action on Wednesday night at the Cox Pavilion. The Lady Rebels had their two-game win streak snapped and dropped to 8-14, 4-4 in league play. FSU meanwhile improved to 15-6, and remained tied for first in the league with San Diego State at 7-1.
"We just had too many mistakes down the stretch, and Fresno State made their threes and their free throws," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "But to take the first place team down to the very end shows that we can play with anyone, and that we're continuing to improve. I thought we did a great job tonight with out rebounding and our defense, we just needed a few more shots inside to fall in."
Kelli Thompson led four Lady Rebels in double-figures with 17, while Danielle Miller added 16. Amie Callaway finished with 12 points, and Réjane Vérin posted her first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. As a team, UNLV shot 46.3% (25-of-54) from the floor, its second-best performance of the season. The Lady Rebels also held Fresno State to its lowest shooting percentage in league play, its first game under 40% at 36.2 (21-of-58). The Bulldogs made up for that however by knocking down 10-of-26 from three-point range for 38.5%, and also made 20-of-26 at the free throw line for 76.9%.
Fresno State began the game on a 10-0 run in the first two minutes, but UNLV quickly responded. Four straight points from Miller ignited a 19-4 run by the Lady Rebels over a 7:13 span. All five starters scored during that run, with Rmanii Haynes putting UNLV up 19-14 with 10:33 to play in the half. After the Bulldogs tied the game at 21-21, Miller hit a trey and a layup, while Thompson added a layup of her own for UNLV's largest lead of the game, 28-21 with 6:02 to play. Three straight treys from three different players gave the lead back to FSU at 30-28, and the score would be tied at 32-32 going into halftime.
The second half would see a total of eight ties and seven lead changes. It was a one-possession game for the first eight minutes, until a 6-0 run by UNLV put them ahead 48-43 on a Briana Charles layup. The Lady Rebels missed their chance to extend the lead, turning the ball over on four of their next five possessions while FSU reeled off seven straight for a 50-48 edge with 8:46 to play. The teams traded baskets over the next four possessions, with the last time coming at 7:25 on a Thompson trey that made the score 53-53.
FSU hit another three-pointer to go up 56-53, and never trailed again. UNLV cut the lead to one twice, at 56-55 on a Vérin layup, and again with 1:38 to play on two Callaway free throws for a 60-59 contest. Moult then hit a three-pointer for FSU on the other end to make the score 63-59, and UNLV missed on its next possession. Ki-Ki Moore made two free throws for a six-point FSU edge, and she would combine with Taylor Thompson to make 9-of-10 at the line to hold off the Lady Rebels for the win.
UNLV would finish with a 38-35 edge on the boards, but turned the ball over 24 times, leading to a 29-16 edge on points off turnovers. The Lady Rebels were also outscored 15-5 on second-chance points, but held a 38-20 edge inside the paint.
The Bulldogs were paced by Moult's 21 points. Alex Sheedy added 14, while Thompson chipped in 13 and Moore 10, with 17 of their combined 23 points coming at the line.
UNLV returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 9, when it begins the second half of league play against New Mexico in The Pit in Albuquerque in a 1 pm (PT) contest.