Win Streak Snapped At Four In 74-62 Loss
Feb. 1, 2012
Fort Collins, Colo. (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV nearly rallied from a 15-point deficit, but a late 10-0 run from Colorado State lifted the Rams to a 74-62 upset win over the Lady Rebels on Wednesday night in Mountain West women's basketball action at Moby Arena. It was the fourth straight loss for UNLV in Fort Collins, and it broke the team's four-game win streak to drop its record to 17-6, 5-2 in league play. CSU meanwhile improved to 9-13, and are tied with UNLV for second in the league at 5-2 as well.
The Rams connected on five of their first six shots from the floor to open up an 11-4 lead, and UNLV was forced to play catch up ball the rest of the way. CSU slowly increased its lead, and went up 31-16 with three minutes to play in the half on a pair of Kim Mestdagh free throws. The Lady Rebels then went on an 8-0 run, closing within eight points on a jumper from Alana Cesarz with 1:05 to play. A layup from Markiell Styles at the halftime buzzer brought UNLV within 37-28.
The second half saw the Rams briefly extend the edge to 13 points twice, the second at 43-30 on a layup from LaDeyah Forte two minutes in. The Lady Rebels would not go away, as they started to chip away at the Ram advantage. After Forte drained two free throws, Kelli Thompson converted a three-point play and a three-pointer in back-to-back possessions to cut the lead down to 45-41. Following another Forte basket, this time a three-pointer for a 50-43 lead, a layup from Thompson and a short jumper from Mia Bell made it a one possession game, 50-47 with 11:01 on the clock.
Then came what turned out to be the key play of the game, as UNLV forced a turnover and then put up a short jumper that was off, but came up with the offensive rebound all alone under the basket. With the chance to cut the lead to just one, the layup instead rolled off the rim, and CSU quickly raced up the court, with Haley Thompson sinking the layup. Not only was it a four-point swing, Thompson's basket would spark a 10-0 run for the Rams. Thompson scored six of her eight points in the game on the run, while a free throw from Megan Heimstra put CSU up by a 60-47 edge with 6:58 to play. The closest UNLV came the rest of the way was nine points, 62-53 on a jumper from Jamie Smith, before the Rams quickly pushed their lead back to double digits.
Shooting was the key factor in the game for both teams, as UNLV was held to 38.1% (24-of-63) for the game, while Colorado State finished the night hitting 52.9% from the floor, 27-of-51. That was the highest percentage by a UNLV opponent this season.
Thompson paced UNLV with 20 points, while Bell added eight. The Lady Rebels' front court was held to just 24 total points, while Smith was the leading rebounder with seven. The Lady Rebels shot 26.7% (4-of-15) from three-point range, and made 10-of-14 at the line for 71.4%. UNLV was also outrebounded by a 34-33 margin.
Mestdagh finished with a game-high 22 points for CSU. Forte and Heimstra both added 13 each. The Rams made 4-of-11 (36.4%) from three-point range, and were 16-of-22 at the line for 72.7%.
UNLV returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 4, when it hosts Wyoming in a game televised by The Mtn. at 4 pm in the Cox Pavilion. All tickets for the game are just $1.