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Lady Rebels Announce 2017-18 Schedule

Aug. 2, 2017

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV 2017-18 Schedule

UNLV women's basketball will continue to challenge itself in the non-conference season under 10th-year head coach Kathy Olivier, but the Lady Rebels have now taken it to another level with potentially the toughest schedule in team history. The program's 29-regular season slate was announced by the athletics department Wednesday.
 
For the second straight year the highlight of the UNLV schedule is in the month of December. After playing a school-record five teams coming off NCAA Tournament action in 2016-17, the Lady Rebels have the potential to play six straight games against 2017 NCAA Tournament participants. That includes a three-game stretch featuring back-to-back games against defending Final Four participants for the first time in school history. 
 
The first of the trio of games will also be the first trip for UNLV to Maples Pavilion to face the Stanford Cardinal since December of 1993. That's followed by two home games in the Duel In The Desert, being held at the Cox Pavilion for the sixth time. The Lady Rebels open that six-team event by facing 2017 national championship runner-up Mississippi State, and close out with Syracuse, who not only reached the NCAA second round a season ago but also were the national championship runner-ups in 2016.
 
"I think its great for the Las Vegas community to see so many great teams come in and play on our home floor," said Olivier of the Duel In The Desert. "Our team likes to take on top competition. It's nothing but a positive to take on the level of teams we face this year."
 
For the fourth time in program history, and for the third straight year as well, UNLV will play all November dates in Las Vegas thanks to a five-game homestand. The past two years, UNLV has posted a 10-1 mark in the month of November, including last year's perfect 5-0 record. The Lady Rebels will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 10, against Portland State, and will host their first-ever Lady Rebel School Day on Tuesday, Nov. 14 against UC Irvine. That game will tip-off at 12 pm, and will be attended by several local elementary schools.
 
Following a Nov. 19 game with Grand Canyon, UNLV will welcome Hofstra, Minnesota and Wake Forest to the Cox Pavilion for their annual Thanksgiving tournament, the Lady Rebel Shootout. UNLV will open the two-day tournament against Hofstra on Nov. 25, and will face either Minnesota or Wake Forest the next day.
 
UNLV will play in the ASU Classic for the second time in six years to open the month of December, facing UC Riverside in the first round. If the Lady Rebels were to meet the Arizona State Sun Devils on the tournament's second day, that would be their first NCAA opponent from the previous year, while the other team in the field is Buffalo. The next two weekends will have the Lady Rebels again on the road, with contests at Gonzaga (Dec. 9) and at Stanford (Dec. 16).  
 
"Playing at a place like Gonzaga, where they have a great fan base, and fill the stands similar to a New Mexico home game, it will be so great for our team to face that atmosphere," said Olivier. "And then to play in Maples Pavilion at Stanford, they are a Final Four team and Tara VanDerveer is an excellent coach, to have back-to-back road games at those places will be a huge test for us at that point in the season."
 
The Lady Rebels close out non-conference play with the Duel In The Desert, which will run from Dec. 20-22 in the Cox Pavilion. There will be two three-team divisions who will play round-robin over the three days. UNLV, Mississippi State and Syracuse comprise the Rebel Division, while Texas A&M, Oregon and Hawaii will play in the Desert Division. FloHoops will stream all of the tournament games live at www.FloHoops.com.
 
This year's Mountain West schedule format will again be 18 games, with the Lady Rebels facing eight teams home and home, and two teams just once. This year's teams that UNLV will play just once are Colorado State, who the Lady Rebels will face in Las Vegas on Jan. 20, and Wyoming on Feb. 10 in Laramie.
 
UNLV will have a bye on the first day of conference play, before opening up against the defending league champion for the second straight year. This year the opponent will be Boise State, in Idaho on Dec. 30, making yet one more 2017 NCAA participant the Lady Rebels will face in the month of December.
 
The Lady Rebels' two games in the Governor's Series, the all-sports competition against Nevada, Reno sponsored by NV Energy and Barrick Gold, will be on Feb. 7 in Las Vegas and Feb. 27 in Reno. Other highlights of the league schedule include National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 3 against Boise State, and the Play4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness game with San Diego State on Feb. 17.
 
This season's MW Tournament will again be held in the Thomas & Mack Center. The first round will begin on March 5 with three games, and then four more games will be played on March 6, and the semifinals at night on March 7. The championship game will be played on Friday, March 9.
 
The Lady Rebels will return four starters, senior guard Brooke Johnson, junior guard Nikki Wheatley and junior forwards Paris Strawther and Katie Powell, from last year's team that finished with an 22-11 record and received an at-large bid to the Postseason WNIT.
 
"We have a lot of returnees on this team and I feel like they are all up for the challenge," said Olivier. "We are going to have to be ready to play great basketball at an early time of the season, but I hope we can take from those experiences and the rest of the non-conference slate to grow as a team before we enter Mountain West Conference play."
 
Season tickets for the 2017-18 Lady Rebel season are now on sale, starting at just $65 for the 16-game home slate which includes December's Duel In The Desert event as well, and fans can purchase at either UNLVtickets.com or by calling 702-739-FANS (3267).
 
UNLV Lady Rebel 2017-18 Non-Conference Opponent Briefs
 

 

 

Game 1 - Portland State
Friday, Nov. 10 - 6 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 16-17
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: This will be the sixth straight year UNLV has opened the season in Las Vegas, but the first in the Cox Pavilion since Kathy Olivier's first year in 2008-09, after playing the previous five openers in the Thomas & Mack Center.

Game 2 - UC Irvine
Tuesday, Nov. 14 - 12 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 5-26
Series Record: 29-4
Notes: For the first time in program history, the Lady Rebels are hosting a mid-week school game, as the 12 pm contest will be attended by students from three local elementary schools ... UNLV is 17-1 all-time in Las Vegas against its former Big West rival ... This is the third straight season the teams have met, following a 72-62 win by UNLV on Nov. 21, 2015 in the Cox Pavilion, and a 62-46 win by the Lady Rebels on Dec. 12, 2016 in Irvine ... That game would feature a 21-0 run by UNLV in the third and fourth quarter. 

Game 3 - Grand Canyon
Sunday, Nov. 19 - 2 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 11-15
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: This will be the first meeting between UNLV and the Phoenix-based school, now in its fifth year at the Division I level, while 2017-18 is the first season the Antelopes will be eligible for the NCAA Tournament ... Nicole Powell is in her first year as head coach at GCU, while on her staff is former Lady Rebel assistant Nikki Blue.

Game 4 - Hofstra
Lady Rebel Round-Up First Round
Saturday, Nov. 25 - 12 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 13-18
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: UNLV will be playing a team from the Colonial Athletic Association for the first time since a 61-58 win over Northeastern on Nov. 26, 2011 ... That game also came in the first round of the Lady Rebel Round-Up ... UNLV is 4-0 all-time against the CAA ... UNLV has won its first game in the Round-Up the past three years coming into 2017-18.

Potential Game 5 - Minnesota
Lady Rebel Round-Up Consolation/Championship Game
Sunday, Nov. 26 - 12/2:30 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 15-16
Series Record: 1-2
Notes: This would be the first meeting in the series between the two teams in Las Vegas ... The previous three games took place in Minneapolis (75-61 win in the 1998-99 season), a 71-54 loss in the 2012 NCAA First Round in Chapel Hill, N.C., and a 77-69 loss in the 2014-15 season opening WBCA/BTI Classic in Seattle.

Potential Game 5 - Wake Forest
Lady Rebel Round-Up Consolation/Championship Game
Sunday, Nov. 26 - 12/2:30 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 16-16 (WNIT 2nd Round)
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: The Demon Deacons would be the first 2017 postseason squad the Lady Rebels would face in 2017-18 ... This would be just the ninth all-time game for UNLV against an ACC school, with the last coming in the 2013 Duel In The Desert, a 63-54 victory over Clemson in the Cox Pavilion. 

Game 6 - UC Riverside
ASU Classic First Round
Saturday, Dec. 2 - TBA - Wells Fargo Arena
2016-17 Record: 16-15
Series Record: 3-2
Notes: UNLV and UCR will play for the first time since December of 2012, in an 82-66 victory by the Highlanders in Riverside ... This will be the first meeting on a neutral court in the series ... UNLV is appearing in the ASU Classic for the second time in six years ... In the 2012 edition, the Lady Rebels fell to Dayton 82-58 in the first round before topping Binghamton 58-56 in the consolation contest.

Potential Game 7 - Arizona State
ASU Classic Consolation/Championship Game
Sunday, Dec. 3 - TBA - Wells Fargo Arena
2016-17 Record: 20-13 (NCAA 2nd Round)
Series Record: 7-3
Notes: It's been 13 years since the last time the Lady Rebels faced ASU, a 50-47 victory by UNLV in the WNIT 1st Round in Las Vegas ... The Sun Devils have posted four straight 20-win seasons, and lost in the NCAA 2nd Round by just three points at eventual champion South Carolina.

Potential Game 7 - Buffalo
ASU Classic Consolation/Championship Game
Sunday, Dec. 3 - TBA - Wells Fargo Arena
2016-17 Record: 22-10
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: This would be the first game against a team from the MAC since a 60-51 win over Ohio in the consolation game of the Minnesota Subway Classic in 2012.

Game 8 - Gonzaga
Saturday, Dec. 9 - TBA - McCarthey Athletic Center
2016-17 Record: 26-7 (NCAA 1st Round)
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: The two West Coast teams have never met before in women's basketball ... This will be the Lady Rebels first trip to the state of Washington since playing in the WBCA/BTI Classic in November of 2004 at the University of Washington.

Game 9 - Stanford
Saturday, Dec. 16 - TBA - Maples Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 32-6 (NCAA Final Four)
Series Record: 2-5
Notes: For the second straight year the Lady Rebels will face a defending Final Four participant, as the Cardinals reached the national semifinals before falling at South Carolina ... A year ago, UNLV came just seconds short from upsetting Oregon State, who was coming off an appearance in the 2016 Final Four ... UNLV and Stanford last met in the 1993-94 season, a 94-73 loss in Palo Alto for the Lady Rebels.

Game 10 - Mississippi State
Duel In The Desert - Rebel Division Game Two
Wednesday, Dec. 20 - 2:30 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 34-5 (NCAA Championship Runner-Up)
Series Record: 2-0
Notes: Not only will UNLV take on back-to-back Final Four participants for the first time ever, the Lady Rebels will be matched up the previous season's national runner-up for the first time since the 1996-97 season when it hosts the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first game of the Duel In The Desert  ... The last time UNLV played a NCAA championship finalist, it fell to Georgia 87-41 on Dec. 28, 1996 in Las Vegas ... The only other time UNLV played two defending Final Four participants in the same season was in the 1987-88 season, when it faced Louisiana Tech and conference member Long Beach State ... MSU shocked the sports world in April when it snapped Connecticut's NCAA record 111-game win streak with a last second shot in overtime for a 66-64 victory in the Final Four ... UNLV is 2-0 all-time against the Bulldogs, including a 72-61 win over MSU in Las Vegas on Dec. 28, 2003, a year after the Bulldogs had reached the Sweet 16 ... The Duel In The Desert is back at UNLV for the first time since the 2013-14 season ... The tournament, co-hosted by UNLV and Basketball Travelers, has also been held in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2009-10.

Game 11 - Syracuse
Duel In The Desert - Rebel Division Game Six
Friday, Dec. 22 - 2:30 pm - Cox Pavilion
2016-17 Record: 22-11 (NCAA 2nd Round)
Series Record: First Meeting
Notes: This will be the first-ever meeting between the Lady Rebels and the Orange ... UNLV is 3-5 all-time against teams from the ACC ... The last time UNLV met an ACC team was in the 2013 Duel In The Desert, when the Lady Rebels opened that three-day event with a 63-54 win over Clemson ... Syracuse has made the NCAA Tournament the past five seasons, including the second round in 2017 and the national championship game in 2016.

2017 DUEL IN THE DESERT SCHEDULE
COX PAVILION - Las Vegas
 
Wednesday, December 20
Desert Division
Texas A&M vs Hawaii - 12 pm
Rebel Division
UNLV vs. Mississippi State - 2:30 pm
Thursday, December 21
Desert Division
Oregon vs Texas A&M, 12 pm
Rebel Division
Syracuse vs Mississippi State - 2:30 pm
Friday, December 22
Desert Division
Hawaii vs Oregon, 12 pm
Rebel Division
UNLV vs Syracuse - 2:30 pm
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