Road Win Moves Lady Rebels Into Second
Feb. 22, 2012
BOISE, Idaho (UNLVRebels.com) - Four players finished in double-figures to lead UNLV to its first 20-win season in eight years thanks to a 75-66 victory at Boise State on Wednesday night in in Mountain West women's basketball action at Taco Bell Arena. The Lady Rebels not only improved to 20-8, the third time in the last 20 years they have won 20 games in a season, it also moved them into a tie for second place in the MW at 8-4, following Colorado State's loss at New Mexico. BSU meanwhile dropped to 13-14, 4-8 in league play.
Kelli Thompson finished with a game-high 22 points to pace the Lady Rebels, and was 10-of-11 from the free throw line. She also added six assists and four steals. Mia Bell posted 17 points, while Lenita Sanford recorded 14 points and nine rebounds, and Jamie Smith recorded 12 points and seven rebounds. UNLV shot 43.5% for the game (27-of-62), and was 16-of-17 at the free throw line for 94.1%. UNLV also forced 18 turnovers while coming up with 13 steals.
The Lady Rebels held the edge for almost the entire game, beginning with a 7-2 run to start the night. Boise State countered with a 9-4 run of its own to go up 11-9 on a three-pointer from Nicole Brady. Sanford tied the game on a jumper, the first of four ties over the next five minutes of the game. After the Broncos knotted the score at 17-17 on a jumper from Diana Lee, UNLV scored the next seven points, and opened up a 33-23 lead on a layup from Markiell Styles at the 5:30 mark. UNLV led by as much as 13 in the first half before taking an 11-point edge into halftime.
Boise State cut the lead to single digits, 43-34, on a jumper from Lauren Lenhardt with 16:03 to play in the second half. UNLV then reeled off the next eight points of the game off a Smith jumper and back-to-back treys from Bell and Thompson, for a 51-34 edge. The lead stood at 11 points, 60-49 with six minutes to go when the Broncos rallied. An 11-4 run, started by a three-pointer from Lenhardt and four straight points from Keiahnna Engel, made it a four-point game, 64-60 with 3:36 to play. After the teams traded a pair of free throws each, UNLV came up with two straight steals and turned them into four points and an 70-62 edge with 1:56 on the clock. UNLV finished the game making five of six at the line to claim the nine-point road victory.
Lenhardt and Engel both finished with 14 points for the Broncos, while Kati Isham added 10. BSU shot 41.5% (22-of-54) for the game, was 4-of-15 from three-point range for 26.7%, and made 18-of-20 at the free throw line for 90%.
UNLV plays its final road game of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 25, with a contest at Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo., at 1 pm (PST).