Season Ends For Lady Rebels
March 14, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - After jumping out to an 11-point first half lead, UNLV was held without a field goal for a 10-minute span, and New Mexico's 19-5 run to end the half was the key in the Lobos' 72-59 win on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the Reese's Mountain West Women's Basketball Championships at the Thomas & Mack Center. The fourth-seeded Lady Rebels finish the season at 12-19, while fifth-seeded New Mexico improved to 17-13 and will play top seed San Diego State in the semifinals on Friday.
The biggest factor in UNLV's loss was the defensive play by New Mexico on the league's top scorer, senior guard Kelli Thompson, who was held to a season-low seven points on 2-of-14 shooting, and made just four trips total to the free throw line. That left the Lady Rebels with few scoring options on the outside, as the team was already playing with a short roster. In fact, the top six players played all but four minutes of the game.
MW Freshman of the Year Réjane Vérin was unstoppable in the first 10 minutes for UNLV. She scored 14 of the team's first 19 points, and her layup with 10:58 left gave UNLV a 19-8 advantage. Then the Lobos switched up their defenses, leading to the Lady Rebels missing their next 11 shots from the floor. New Mexico took advantage by slowly cutting into the lead, going ahead 21-20 on a pair of Sara Halasz free throws with 4:31 to play. UNLV would tie the score twice, at 21-21 on a Danielle Miller free throw, and 24-24 on a layup from Rmanii Haynes with 54 seconds left. The final minute of the first half would be key for the Lobos though, as following Haynes' tying layup, Caroline Durbin drained a trey from the top of the key, and after a missed UNLV layup, Durbin hit another trey from the corner to put New Mexico ahead 30-24 at the half.
UNLV opened the second half scoring seven of the first nine points, capped by a trey from Thompson to close within 32-21. Six straight Lobo points put the lead back at six though. Following a three-point play from Miller with 8:40 to play to cut the edge to six, New Mexico reeled off seven unanswered, grabbing a 60-47 edge with 6:50 to play.
The Lady Rebels then made one last really, holding UNM scoreless for a 5:22 span. UNLV scored 10 straight during that stretch, started by three straight from Vérin while Haynes drained a trey with 1:46 left to cut the edge to 60-57. That was the closest UNLV would come though, as the Lobos closed out the game with 12 of the final 14 points for the 13-point victory.
Vérin led UNLV with 19 points and nine rebounds. Also finished in double-figures was Haynes and Miller, both with 12 points each. UNLV was held to 35.7% (20-of-56) from the floor, 3-of-10 from three-point range (30%), and made 16-of-23 (69.6%) from the line. New Mexico won the rebounding battle 40-34, while UNLV finished with nine steals and two blocks.
Antiesha Brown came off the bench to lead New Mexico with 21 points, and made all 10 of her free throws. Durban posted 17 points, Sara Halasz added 13, and Deeva Vaughn notched 12. UNM shot 40.7% (24-of-59), was 3-of-13 (23.1%) from three-point range, and 21-of-25 at the line for 84.0%.