Lady Rebels Rally Falls Just Short
Nov. 17, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV nearly rallied from a nine-point second half deficit at Northwestern on Sunday, but a potential game-tying layup by Mia Bell with 4.7 seconds left was wiped off due to a charge call, and the Wildcats (3-0) sank two free throws to escape with a 57-53 victory over the Lady Rebels (1-2) on Sunday afternoon in women's college basketball action from the Welsh-Ryan Arena.
"I thought it was a really good basketball game, both teams were playing hard, both teams were mixing it up defensively," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "Close game throughout the second half. Near the end, a couple of balls went their way, we went for a steal and they got a tying three off it, an offensive board went their way, but that's the way the game goes sometimes. I felt we rebounded better today then we have and moved the ball well. Two years we lost to this team by 30 points, today it came down to the final seconds, so a much better effort this time."
UNLV had trailed in the game 44-35 with over nine minutes to play, but scored 18 of the next 24 points. Danielle Miller capped that run with back-to-back layups that put the Lady Rebels up 53-50 at the 1:49 mark. On the other side the Lady Rebels almost caused a turnover, but Northwestern kept possession and managed to find Lauren Douglas alone in the corner after the defensive overplay. She buried a trey near the end of the shot clock to tie the game at 53-53.
Following a missed UNLV shot, Maggie Lyon converted a layup to put NU ahead 55-53 with 35 seconds left. UNLV turned the ball over, but then sent Lyon to the line, where she missed the front end, giving the Lady Rebels one more chance. Bell took the ball and raced the length of the court before laying it in, but the offensive foul gave the ball back to Northwestern. UNLV was forced to foul, leading to the clinching free throws.
Bell finished the contest with a game-high 17 points for UNLV, while also finishing in double-figures with Réjane Vérin with 11 and Miller with 10. UNLV was held to 28.8% shooting for the game, 19-of-66, while both teams were 3-of-13 from three-point range for 23.1%. The Lady Rebels would make 12-of-17 at the line for 70.6%. For the first time this year UNLV won the rebounding battle, 47-41, and used that for a 14-4 edge on second chance points.
The first half was back and forth the entire 20 minutes, with the lead changing hands four times. The largest advantage for either team in the opening 20 minutes was five, 15-10 by NU on a Douglas layup at 7:35 on the clock. UNLV came back to tie the game at 19-19 on a Miller trey, and went ahead 21-20 on two Bell free throws at the 3:07 mark. After NU made one of two at the line for the fourth tie of the half, the Lady Rebels scored four points in the final 31 seconds of the half, the last two coming on an Aley Rohde layup at the buzzer, to go up 26-22 at the break.
UNLV was still up four in the second half, before a 5-0 run put the Wildcats back ahead 31-30. The game was tied twice more, the second time on a pair of Vérin free throws with 13:00 to play. Nia Coffey then scored two straight baskets, and Ashley Deary added a three-pointer and a layup for the largest lead of the game, 44-35 with 9:35 to play. UNLV then made its second half run, scoring six straight to start the 18-6 spurt over the next 8:17. That put UNLV ahead 53-50, setting the stage for the final two minutes. Vérin scored six of her 11 points during that stretch.
Lyon led NU with 12 points, and was followed by Douglas with 11 and Coffey with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Wildcats shot 39.3% from the floor (22-of-56), and made 10-of-16 at the line for 62.5%.
The Lady Rebels return to action on Saturday, Nov. 23, when they host Bakersfield at 4 pm in the Thomas & Mack Center.