Thompson, Lady Rebs Top North Dakota State
Dec. 19, 2011
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Junior guard Kelli Thompson scored a game-high 18 points to lead UNLV to a 76-57 victory over North Dakota State in the third game of the BTI Invitational on Monday night at the Cox Pavilion. The win pushed the Lady Rebels' record to 9-3 on the season, while NDSU dropped to 2-10.
North Dakota State led by five midway through the first half after getting hot from three-point range, as the Bison hit five of their first seven shots from behind the three-point line. The team's fifth trey of the first half gave NDSU a 21-17 lead at the 9:49 mark, and a layup from Janae Burich put NDSU up by 26-21 with 7:37 to go in the first half.
A 10-1 run, highlighted by a three-pointer from Danielle Miller and a three-point play from Thompson, put UNLV back ahead 31-27 with 6:48 on the clock. The Bison did cut the lead to two points, but UNLV responded with an 8-0 run, going up 39-29 on a short jumper from Markiell Styles, before taking a 39-31 edge into the break.
The Bison stayed close for most of the beginning of the second half, cutting the lead to as low as three, 45-42 on a DeGagne trey with 15:24 to play. Thompson answered with a layup to start a 6-0 run, and hit two free throws to put the Lady Rebs up 51-42 at the 12:59 mark. Holding a 10-point lead with over seven minute to play, another trey from Thompson started a run of seven unanswered points for UNLV to go up 69-52, and the Bison never came close again. The largest lead of the game came on the final basket from UNLV's Friederike Moderegger in the final minute for the 19-point win.
Joining Thompson in double-figures was Lenita Sanford with 16 points and Sandrine Nzeukou with 13. Nzeukou was the leading rebounder with seven. The Lady Rebels shot 44.8% (30-of-67) from the floor, were 5-of-14 for 35.7% from downtown, and made 11-of-15 at the free throw line for 73.3%. UNLV held a 40-34 edge on the boards, and forced 17 turnovers, leading to a 22-7 edge on points off turnovers, while the advantage in points in the paint was 38-12 in favor of UNLV.
Abby Plucker led NDSU with 17 points, while Hannah Linz added 12. The Bison were held to 36.2% shooting (17-of-47), including 28% in the second half. They were 8-of-23 from three-point range, and 15-of-21 at the free throw line for 71.4%.
UNLV plays its final game in the BTI Invitational on Tuesday at 7:30 pm against Kansas State in the Cox Pavilion.