Back-to-Back-to-Back | Lady Rebels Three-Peat Mountain West Conference

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UNLV Lady Rebels celebrate winning the Mountain West championship against San Diego State on March 13. (Kalin Sipes/Scarlet & Gray Free Press)

No. 19 ranked UNLV Women’s Basketball defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 66-49 on March 13 to win its third straight Mountain West championship.

“I am extremely proud and happy for our group,” UNLV head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “Winning is hard. Winning championships is really hard, especially kind of when you are expected to. This group handles it with grace, with commitment, and willingness to doing whatever it takes.”

Alyssa Brown won the MVP of the tournament. She finished the game with a stat line of two 3-pointers and 11 points.

“It was just like the highest moment in my career, and I felt very blessed and very proud,” Brown said.

Desi-Rae Young finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Ashley Scoggin splashed three from deep in the championship game.

“I thought Ashley hit some huge shots, really huge shots, and great execution by — a couple of them were some sets,” La Rocque said. “And then Desi, I told her at halftime, we’re going to you. You’ve got us here and you’re going to take us home. She made some huge plays and some rebounds and some tough finishes.”

Floor general Kiara Jackson contributed with 14 points and seven rebounds against the Aztecs.

The Lady Rebels jumped ahead early with Young working the paint to score the first basket of the game.

Both teams had a physical first quarter with the battle in the paint. A total of five offensive fouls were called in the quarter.

All the basketball scored in the first quarter were from inside the arc and San Diego State took advantage, leading 12-10 heading into the second quarter.

The Aztecs extended its lead with baskets made by Kim Villalobos and Adryana Quezada to make the score 16-12. 

San Diego State kept the pressure on UNLV with baskets made by Abby Prohaska and Quezada to get a 20-14 lead over the Lady Rebels with just under seven minutes remaining in the half.

UNLV tightened up on defense and got on an offensive run knotting the game at 20-20 with one minute left in the half.

The game went into half still tied at 20 a piece with neither team making a shot from beyond the arc.

Jackson started the half driving to the hoop to put the Rebels up but the Aztecs responded with baskets of their own to take back the lead.

Brown splashed the Rebels first 3-pointer to take a 25-24 lead and the Lady Rebels got the momentum going in their direction.

Scoggin followed up the Brown shot from downtown with a mid-range jumper to force the Aztecs to call a timeout.

Young started to heat up making a hookshot and a turnaround jumper to continue the scoring run for the Lady Rebels.

Scoggin made the scoring run 12-0 sinking a 3-pointer to give UNLV a 10-point lead.

Jada Lewis ended the scoring drought the Aztecs with a corner 3-pointer to cut the Lady Rebels lead to single digits.

San Diego State started to heat up Khylee Pepe making a second-chance jumper and Lewis knocking down another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 37-32.

Scoggin responded with another 3-pointer to give the Lady Rebels a 40-32 cushion with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Jazlen Green kept the Aztecs in the game with a 3-point play to make it a five point game.

Both teams traded baskets and the game stayed close with the Rebels up 42-37 going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter started with Jackson finding Kimpson open for a 3-pointer while she was stuck in a defensive trap to put the Lady Rebels up 45-37.

UNLV worked the paint in the following possession, with Brown finding Young under the basket for an open layup.

After the layup the Lady Rebels found their stride from deep with 3-pointers in back-to-back possessions from Brown and Scoggin.

The Lady Rebels continued to play solid defense with a steal from Scoggin under the basket that translated to Young making a layup to make the score 57-43 midway into the fourth quarter.

Kimpson chewed out most of the shot clock with under three minutes remaining in regulation and made a mid-range jumper to put UNLV up 64-47.

The Lady Rebels end of the game did have a scary moment with Young having a non-contact injury in the last minute of play. Young after getting up waved to the crowd that she was okay and she appeared to be good to go to celebrate a championship with her teammates. 

UNLV went on to control the backend of the fourth quarter to win the Mountain West Championship 66-49.

Up Next

The Lady Rebels have punched their ticket to the Big Dance and will find out who they are playing on March 17.

“We have to celebrate this victory just because it is so monumental to win the regular season, to win the conference championship,” La Rocque said. “While it’s expected, you still have to celebrate it. We’ll take a couple of days off, but then… we want more and kind of we’re not just happy to be here type of feeling.”

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