Feb. 7, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -
@UNLVLadyRebels | UNLV Box Score
UNLV jumped out to a big third quarter lead and held off a rally from UNR in the final 10 minutes to claim its ninth win in the past 10 games, 77-75 over the Wolf Pack Wednesday night in Mountain West women's basketball action from the Cox Pavilion. The first-place Lady Rebels moved to 9-2 in league play, 14-9 overall with their fourth straight win, and a perfect 19-0 all-time against UNR (11-11, 4-7) in Las Vegas. Wednesday was the first of two meetings between the two teams in the Governor's Series, the all-sports competition sponsored by Barrick Golf and NV Energy.
The Lady Rebels, who never trailed on the night, held a 23-10 advantage after the first quarter, and extended the lead to as high as 23, 50-27, on a three-point play by Nikki Wheatley at the 6:22 mark of the third quarter. Foul trouble started to take its toll on the Lady Rebels though, as starter Jordyn Bell picked up her fifth foul at the 5:26 mark, and left after playing just 13 minutes. Another starter, Paris Strawther, saw her minutes limited on the night as well with four fouls, though she did post 10 points and eight rebounds. UNR took advantage of their absence in the paint second half, first cutting the edge to 56-38 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter saw a scoring explosion from the Wolf Pack, as UNR scored 37 points while shooting 68% from the floor, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. The Wolf Pack slowly chipped away at the edge, and came within a single possession twice, the first at 75-73. UNLV would go 1-for-2 at the line, and UNR converted a layup to close within 76-75. Katie Powell was then fouled and made her first free throw for UNLV with 2.6 seconds on the clock. Her second was off the mark but UNR was out of timeouts and their desperation shot fell way short.
LADY REBEL OF THE GAME: Senior guard Brooke Johnson scored a game-high trying 23 points and knocked down three treys as well.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV shot 50% (27-of-54) for the night, its second straight game shooting at least 50% for the contest.
"We got sloppy and careless, they saw a little hope and ran with it. In the first half we played great defense and executed, in the second half we played too loose, and you can't do that, especially in a rivalry game."
- UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier
LADY REBEL NOTES:
* UNLV continues its best start in MW play at 9-2. It's also the best start to any conference season for UNLV since going 11-1 to begin the 1993-94 Big West campaign.
* The Lady Rebels are one of the top teams in the nation in getting to the line, but it was UNR that finished with game-highs of free throws made (21) and attempted (28).
* Both Katie Powell and Wheatley finished with 19 points each for UNLV.
* Johnson made her 100th career start on Wednesday for UNLV. She also moved into third place on the UNLV career three-point field goals made list with 175 finishing with three.
NEXT FOR THE LADY REBELS: UNLV takes to the road for a battle against second-place Wyoming on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 pm (PT) in Laramie.