Lady Rebels Come Up Short At Santa Clara
Dec. 31, 2012
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - Despite a season-high 29 points from Kelli Thompson, Santa Clara held off several UNLV runs in the second half to claim a 70-64 victory over the Lady Rebels on Monday afternoon in women's college basketball action at the Leavey Center. UNLV finished the non-conference season at 4-10, while SCU improved to 8-5 on the year.
The game was tied at 29 to start the second half, and again at 37 with 17:29 on the second half clock. SCU then reeled off eight straight points, the last six from Ricki Radanovich, to go ahead by a 45-37 margin, and UNLV was forced to play in catch-up mode for the rest of the afternoon. Though the Broncos would eventually take an 11-point second half lead, 52-41, UNLV never gave up, first using a 9-3 spurt to close the edge to five points, 55-50. The Lady Rebs then had a chance to come as close as four points, but missed the front end of a one-and-one, and SCU converted a layup at the other end for a 61-53 lead.
SCU again built an 11-point lead, 68-57 with 1:10 on the clock. Two Thompson treys in a 15-second span made it a five-point game with 40 seconds to play. However after a missed SCU free throw, UNLV's next three-point shot was off the mark, and the Broncos made two free throws with 21 seconds left to seal the win.
UNLV struggled from the floor to start the game, missing nine of its first 10 shots while falling behind by a 13-4 margin five minutes into the contest. Santa Clara took its largest lead of the game, 21-7, off a layup from Nici Gilday with 10:56 on the first half clock. The Lady Rebels climbed back into the game on the next possession, as a three-point play from Alana Cesarz ignited an 11-0 run. Kelli Thompson buried two straight treys during the run, while a layup from Cesarz brought UNLV within 21-18 at the 8:32 mark.
SCU countered with seven unanswered for a 28-18 edge with seven to play. The Lady Rebels would hold the Broncos to just one point for the rest of the half, and scored 11 of the half's final 12 points to go into halftime tied at 29-29, thanks to a short jumper from Kelli Thompson with 20 seconds on the first half clock.
With her 29-point performance, Thompson moved up two spots on the all-time scoring lists to eighth place with 1,527 points. She passed Gwynn Hobbs (1992-95) and Donya Monroe (1983-86), and is only one point behind Sheena Moore (2003-06), who is seventh with 1,528.
Also in double figures for UNLV was Cesarz with 18 and Danielle Miller with 12. The rest of the team was held to just five total. For the game UNLV shot 34.4% (21-of-61), was 6-of-21 from three-point range (28.6%), and 16-of-21 at the line for 76.2%. UNLV was outrebounded by a 43-39 margin. Turnovers were even for the game at 21-21, and UNLV held a 20-15 edge on points off turnovers.
SCU also placed three players in double-figures, beginning with Radanovich who finished the afternoon with 19 points, thanks to hitting 4-of-7 from downtown. The Broncos also had two players with double-doubles, Ruta Zurauskyte (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Lindsay Leo (14 points, 11 rebounds), while Raquel Avila added 12. SCU shot 45.9% (28-of-61) for the game, was 7-of-18 from three-point range for 38.9% and 7-of-16 at the charity stripe (43.8%).
The Lady Rebels now have a nine-day break before returning to action with their Mountain West conference opener on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 pm against New Mexico in the Cox Pavilion.