Lady Rebels Fall To Colorado State Charge
Feb. 26, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV played one of its better offensive games of the season in the first 24 minutes at Colorado State, but could not keep pace with the first place Rams over the final 16 minutes, as CSU used a 19-0 run to take control on the way to an 84-64 win on Wednesday night in Mountain West women's basketball action at Moby Arena. The Lady Rebels dropped to 10-17, 7-8 in league play, while the Rams clinched the regular season championship at 14-2, 21-5 overall.
After falling behind early 6-2, the Lady Rebels reeled off 10 straight points for a 12-6 edge, thanks to a three-pointer from Briana Charles at the 13:27 mark. Another three-pointer had started the run, from Amanda Anderson, and the three-ball would be a key part of the Lady Rebels' success in the first half. UNLV made six-of-nine from behind the arc over the opening 20 minutes, from a total of five different players.
CSU answered back with a 9-2 spurt, taking its last lead of the half on a Caitlin Duffy three-pointer for a 17-16 Ram edge at the 10:07 mark. Mia Bell then sandwiched a two treys around a pair of Rejane Verin free throws, giving UNLV a 24-17 advantage. Colorado State cut the edge to two on a pair of AJ Newton free throws, but freshman Diamond Major responded with the first two field goals of her career, a three-pointer and a driving layup. Alana Cesarz added a basket as well to give UNLV a nine-point edge, 36-27 at the 2:43 mark. The lead would stand at five, 37-32 for UNLV going into halftime.
The key players for UNLV in the first half were Cesarz and Bell, who led all players at that point with 10 points each, off a combined 7-12 shooting, 3-4 from three-point range. The duo were at it again to start the second half, scoring the Lady Rebels' first 10 points of the second half. The lead reached nine twice in the second half, off a Cesarz three-pointer at 45-36, and again off an Amie Callaway layup for a 47-38 margin. Cesarz's layup with 13:31 to play put UNLV ahead 49-44. That was the final points of the game from both Cesarz and Bell, however, and the Lady Rebels were unable to find enough offense from the rest of the team to keep pace with the Rams.
A 5-0 run from CSU tied the game at 49-49, before Callaway scored down low to give UNLV its final lead, 51-49 at the 9:48 mark. The Lady Rebels were then held scoreless for the next 4:56 of the game. The Rams took advantage by scoring 19 straight during that stretch, which included four three-pointers, to go ahead 68-51 with 5:10 on the clock.
Cesarz finished the game with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Bell added 12 points and eight assists for the Lady Rebels. UNLV would shoot 39% (23-of-59) for the game, was 8-of-17 from three-point range for 47.1%, and made 10-of-12 at the free throw line (83.3%). UNLV held a 35-33 rebounding edge, but turned the ball over 17 times, leading to CSU's 23-9 edge on points off turnovers.
Newton led the Rams with 21 points, and was followed by Sam Martin with 17. CSU shot 50% for the game (29-of-58), including 58.6% after halftime, 52.2% from three-point range (12-of-23), and 14-of-16 at the free throw line for 87.5%.
The Lady Rebels return to action on Saturday, March 1 at 4 pm against Air Force in the Cox Pavilion.