Freshmen Shine In Senior Day Win
March 2, 2013
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On UNLV's Senior Day, it was a pair of freshmen post players that stole the spotlight as Réjane Vérin and Amie Callaway combined for 43 points to lead the Lady Rebels to an 80-63 victory on Saturday afternoon in Mountain West women's basketball action from the Cox Pavilion.
With the win, UNLV moves to 11-17 on the year, and are alone in fourth place in the MW at 7-7. The Lady Rebels stayed perfect against UNR in Las Vegas, moving to 14-0 all-time on their home court against the Wolf Pack. The win was also good for a sweep of the season series, which gives UNLV three points in the Governor's Series. UNR dropped to 7-20, 2-12 in league play.
"It was an awesome team victory today," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "Réjane played with such great energy, and it was nice to have that kind of team effort on Senior Day. Everyone contributed, and I was happy to see how well we've improved in playing against a zone."
Vérin, who came into the game off a career-high 19 points against Wyoming on Feb. 23, topped that performance on Saturday after connecting on 12-of-16 from the floor for a game-high 26 points. Callaway was just as effective, knocking down seven of her 10 attempts on the way to a career-high 17 points. Their play was a big part in the Lady Rebels final field goal percentage of 55.2% (32-of-58) against the Wolf Pack.
Joining the freshmen in double-digits was Danielle Miller with 17 and Kelli Thompson, who posted 14 points and four assists on her Senior Day. Rmanii Haynes turned in a strong performance from the point guard spot as well, with a career-high 10 rebounds while also recording nine assists and six points.
UNLV never trailed in the game and took it to the Wolf Pack right from the start, jumping out to a 14-3 lead three minutes into the contest. UNR did close within six once, 19-13 after five straight points from Mimi Mungedi off the bench. Thompson answered that run with a trey to put UNLV back up nine, and the lead went to as high as 15, 40-25 on a three-point play from Thompson with 4:52 left in the half. The Wolf Pack scored four of the half's final five points to go into halftime down 45-36.
The Lady Rebels opened the second half with nine unanswered to go up 54-36. UNR would not go away however, refusing to allow UNLV to put the game away, but could not find enough points to get within single digits until the 4:58 mark. Chanelle Brennan drained a jumper to cap a 10-2 run and cut the lead to nine at 66-57. Vérin and Callaway then took over, scoring a combined six straight and would actually post UNLV's final 14 points. A 6-0 run from Callaway gave UNLV its largest lead of the game, 78-59, while she drained two free throws for an 80-61 lead with just over a minute to play. A pair of free throws from Brennan accounted for the final 17-point margin.
UNLV knocked down 5-of-15 from three-point range for 33.3%, and made 11-of-15 at the line for 73.3%. The Lady Rebels lost the rebounding battle 42-35, but forced 20 turnovers, and held a 14-0 edge on fast break points.
Brennan led UNR with 15 points, while Mungedi posted 12, Arielle Wideman 11 and Danika Sharp 10. The Wolf Pack were held to 33.8% (23-of-68) for the afternoon, shot 20.8% (5-of-24) from behind the arc, and were 12-of-21 from the charity stripe for 57.1%.
UNLV will end the regular season with a pair of road games, beginning on Wednesday, March 6 at Boise State in Idaho. The game will tip at 6 pm (PT).