Lady Rebels Smother Fresno State For 54-38 Victory|
March 3, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV PDF box score vs Fresno State
UNLV posted one of its best defensive games of the season, holding Fresno State under 40 points for the first time since the 1974-75 season with a 54-38 victory over the Bulldogs in the regular season finale for both teams in Mountain West women's basketball action on Friday night from the Cox Pavilion.
With the win, just the third for UNLV over Fresno State in the past 17 meetings and the first in Las Vegas since January of 2012, the Lady Rebels improved to 21-9 overall and finish the league slate with a 12-6 mark. The 12 MW wins is a school record, and the most conference wins for UNLV since going 14-4 in the Big West in 1993-94. Fresno State dropped to 15-14, and 8-10 in the league.
The Lady Rebels defensive effort was on display right from the start, holding the Bulldogs to their fewest points in a first quarter this season with just five on 1-of-10 shooting. UNLV would hold a seven point lead after that opening quarter, thanks to scoring eight points off seven FS turnovers.
UNLV stretched the lead to 11, 16-5 two minutes into the second quarter after it attacked the Bulldog zone and found Paris Strawther on the baseline for back-to-back layups. FS found its scoring touch, going on a 10-0 run over the next 3:34 to close within 16-15. UNLV answered back with six straight points, before FS scored the final five points to make it a 22-20 game going into halftime.
Again UNLV smothered the Bulldogs defensively in the third quarter, not allowing a point for the first six minutes and just five total. A 9-0 run for the Lady Rebels meanwhile gave the home team an 11-point edge. Brooke Johnson's layup at the end of the quarter put UNLV ahead 37-25 going into the final 10 minutes.
UNLV scored the first four points of the fourth to grab its largest lead of the night, 41-25 with 9:04 to play off a layup from Jordyn Bell. FS did cut the deficit to single digits at nine twice, the second time at 43-34 with 5:51 to play. Strawther knocked down a jumper on the other end for UNLV, the start of an 11-4 game-ending run to account for the final 16-point margin.
Katie Powell led all scorers with 16 points and nine rebounds for UNLV. She was joined in double-figures by Strawther and Dylan Gonzalez, both with 12 points and seven rebounds. As a team, UNLV shot 33.9%, and was a season-low 3-of-23 from three-point range (13%), but did make nine-of-10 at the line. The Lady Rebels also won the rebounding battle 40-31, and held a 14-3 edge on second chance points. UNLV also came up with 12 steals while forcing 20 turnovers, leading to a 24-13 edge on points off turnovers.
Fresno State was held to 14-of-39 shooting from the field for 35.9%, and was 2-of-11 from behind the arc for 18.2%. The Bulldogs also struggled at the line, making just 8-of-18 (44.4%). Candice White was the team's top scorer with 13.
UNLV will return to action next week in the 2017 Mountain West Championships, held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.