Feb. 27, 2018
RENO, Nevada (UNLVRebels.com) -
@UNLVLadyRebels | UNLV Box Score
A disastrous second quarter for UNLV was the difference in the game on Tuesday night, as the Lady Rebels had their four-game win streak snapped by in-state rival UNR 75-55 in Mountain West women's basketball action from Lawlor Events Center. UNLV dropped to 13-4, but remain tied for first place in the Mountain West, as fellow co-leader Wyoming also lost Tuesday night, on the road at Air Force, while Boise State won as well to force a three-way tie atop the league standings.
With just one game left in the regular season, the Lady Rebels (18-10 overall) would claim a share of its first-ever Mountain West championship if they can claim a win over Utah State on Friday night, in what will be Senior Night for UNLV. Boise State meanwhile will end the season Friday on the road at Wyoming.
Tuesday's contest was also part of the Governor's Series, the all-sports competition between the two schools sponsored by Barrick Gold and NV Energy. With UNR's win, the season series is now split at 1-1. If the teams meet again in next week's MW Championships, the winner would get all three points, if they do not meet again then each school will receive 1.5 points for women's basketball.
For the second time this season, the Lady Rebel post players were in big foul trouble, but the difference on Tuesday is that all three starting posts players picked up their second foul in the first quarter, and all three would sit out for the rest of the opening half. UNR took advantage of the depleted Lady Rebel lineup in the second quarter by outscoring the visitors 25-4 for a 47-21 edge. The Wolf Pack shot 70% from the floor in that quarter and made 8-of-9 from the free throw line, while UNLV was just 2-of-13 and did not attempt a free throw. In fact, the Lady Rebels, who entered the game ranked 12th in the nation for most free throws made, were sent to the line just twice in the opening half.
THE TURNING POINT: It was a three-point contest, 18-15, with 2:25 to play in the first quarter. Then Jordyn Bell picked up her second foul, Katie Powell was whistled for her second at 1:36, and Paris Strawther was called for her second foul with 44 seconds to go. Trailing 21-17, with Strawther's departure, UNLV would go eight straight possessions without a point, while UNR scored the first nine points of the second quarter for a 31-17 edge. UNLV came no closer then 12 the rest of the quarter.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV had more fouls (seven) then points (four) in the second quarter, as the Lady Rebel starting lineup played just 15 total minutes.
"They (UNR) played well, they attacked the basket, and we got frustrated, and you can't do that in a rivalry game. We had to go deep to our bench while they were getting to the line and we just dug ourselves a hole we couldn't get out of."
- UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier
LADY REBEL NOTES:
* Nikki Wheatley tied for game-high scoring honors with 15 and added four steals. Also in double-figures was Paris Strawther (12) and Brooke Johnson (11).
* UNLV was outscored by 15 at the free throw line, as UNR was 25-of-31, while the Lady Rebels were 10-of-18.
* UNLV was also outscored from behind the arc, as UNR made 6-of-11 on three-point shots. The Lady Rebels were just 1-of-9 for the night.
NEXT FOR THE LADY REBELS: UNLV will host Utah State on Senior Night Friday at 6 pm in the Cox Pavilion. Three Lady Rebels, Brooke Johnson, Simone Sheppard and Kennedy Wharton will be playing their final home game in the Cox Pavilion, while there will be a Senior Banquet immediately following the contest. Both UNLV and Utah State will also be wearing mismatched socks on Friday, in honor of Misfit MARCH Madness in March for "Celebrate What Makes You Different" month, a cause to help promote anti-bullying.