700 And Counting|
Dec. 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV broke its losing streak thanks to a strong start and shot a season-high 48.8% to claim a 63-54 victory over Clemson on the first day of the Duel In The Desert women's basketball tournament at the Cox Pavilion. Thanks to the win, which stopped a five-game losing streak, the Lady Rebels became the 50th team in NCAA history to reach 700 all-time victories, and improved their season record to 3-7 overall. Clemson meanwhile dropped to 6-4 overall as its five-game win streak was snapped.
One key to the victory for the Lady Rebels was the return of senior point guard Mia Bell to the lineup, as the Las Vegas native had missed the past three games due to a sprained ankle. She finished the night with 12 points, one of three players in double-figures for UNLV.
"It has been a little tough for our backcourt with Mia out the past three games, and her return tonight was a big lift I felt," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "She executed very well tonight, and that played a big role in keeping our turnovers down, while she provided offensive as well. Overall I was very happy with our entire team's performance, and that it was our 700th win shows the impressive history that we've had here at UNLV, and one that we hope to continue."
The Lady Rebels made six of its first eight shots from the floor while opening up a 13-0 advantage just over four minutes into the contest. Post players Aley Rohde and Alana Cesarz combined for 10 of those 13 points. Clemson then slowly climbed back into the game thanks to the three-point shooting of Kelly Gramlich, as her second trey of the half brought the Tigers within five, 17-12 at the 10:20 mark. That would be a theme repeated through the rest of the game, as everytime the Lady Rebels threatened to blow the game open, Gramlich would keep Clemson alive with another long three-pointer. She would finish the game connecting on 7-of-13 from behind the arc for a game-high 25 points.
The Lady Rebels would take a 10-point lead, 26-16 on a three-point play from Cesarz with 3:30 to play in the opening half. Clemson then scored eight of the final 10 points to go into halftime down 28-24. UNLV opened the second half with five straight to go up nine, but the Tigers cut it back to four points with a 5-0 run themselves. The lead then hovered between five-nine points for the Lady Rebels for the next seven minutes. Clemson came within a single possession only once, as a Gramlich three-pointer and a layup from Shade Chatman made the score 46-43 at the 9:23 mark. UNLV held strong though, scoring on the game's next eight points. Danielle Miller started the run with a pair of free throws, followed by a layup from Cesarz and a three-point play by Miller. Jehiah Cook then went one-of-two at the line to put UNLV ahead 54-43 at the 6:25 mark. The lead stretched to as high as 13, thanks to a pair of Amie Callaway free throws for a 58-45 edge, while Clemson never came closer then nine points the rest of the way.
UNLV's final percentage of 48.8% on 21-of-43 shooting was its highest of the year, while the Lady Rebels were also 4-of-11 from three-point for 36.4%, and 17-of-25 at the charity stripe for 68%. Both teams finished with 34 rebounds for the game.
Miller paced the Lady Rebels with a season-high 19 points, and joining her in double-figures was Cesarz with 14 and Bell with 12. Rohde finished the game with a team-high 10 rebounds.
For the Tigers, three players scored six points each to finish behind Gramlich in scoring, Nyilah Jamison-Myers, Chancie Dunn and Sade Chatman. Clemson was held to 35.4% (23-of-65) for the game from the floor, made 8-of-23 from three-point land for 34.8%, and attempted only two free throws in the game, missing both.
UNLV will continue action in the Duel on Friday with a 5 pm contest against Oregon State.