Lady Rebels Run Past Dixie State 68-53

Nov. 5, 2012

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - In its only exhibition contest of the season, the UNLV women's basketball team opened the second half on a 17-4 run to break open a close game on the way to a 68-53 victory over Dixie State on Monday night at the Cox Pavilion.

Kelli Thompson scored a game-high 19 points for the Lady Rebels, and added nine rebounds to fall one short of a double-double. She was one of three players in double figures, with Danielle Miller posting 13 points and Alana Cesarz 11 points and eight rebounds. UNLV shot 35.6% from the floor (26-of-73), but made eight three-pointers, four from Thompson, and was 8-of-11 at the line for 72.7%. The key stat though was in turnovers, as Dixie State was forced into 24 on the night, while UNLV came up with 16 steals. That resulted in a 23-4 edge in points off turnovers, which helped offset the Red Storm's 50-41 edge on the boards.

"I thought it was great," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "I thought our guards did a real good job of pushing the ball and making good decisions. We did a great job of taking care of the ball, we just have to do a better job on the boards. There are things to work on, there are things we did very well."

It was a slow scoring game at the start, and Dixie State would hold the lead for the majority of the opening 12 minutes, though never by more then four points. UNLV last trailed at the 8:22 mark, 17-15, before a 13-4 run resulted in a 28-21 lead. Three straight layups began the run, while Cesarz capped it with a layup at the 2:20 mark. Dixie then scored the final five points to make it a 28-26 game at the half.

Three-pointers from Cesarz and Thompson to open the second half sparked the Lady Rebel run, while Rejane Verin came off the bench with six points during that stretch. A Thompson trey capped the run at 14:03 for a 45-30 lead, and UNLV would go up by as much as 20, 58-38, on a pair of Miller free throws.

Dixie State was paced by Mandy Munns with 16 points and eight rebounds. Johnna Brown was the next highest scorer with eight points and seven rebounds. The Red Storm shot 33.3% (19-of-57) for the game and was just 3-of-21 from downtown (14.3%)

UNLV opens the regular season on Friday when it hosts UC Santa Barbara at 7 pm in the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be both televised by UNLV TV (webcast on UNLVRebels.com), and carried on the radio at KSHP 1400-AM.