Lady Rebels come back from behind to defeat Colorado State Rams

Kiiara Jackson attempts a lay-up at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas on Feb. 14, 2024. (Scarlet & Gray Free Press / Kalin Sipes)

UNLV Women’s Basketball defeated the Colorado State Rams 67-64 at the Cox Pavilion to improve to an overall record of 21-2 and 11-1 in conference play on Feb. 14.

The Rebels sixth consecutive win against the Rams extended its regular season winning streak to six.

Senior center Desi-Rae Young dominated the game, finishing with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds against the Rams. Amarachi Kimpson shined for the Rebels, scoring a career-high 20 points and two steals. 

Nneka Obiazor was also efficient for the Rebels, scoring 11 points and six rebounds.

“[Obiazor’s] baller, you know she plays hard,” UNLV Head Coach Lindy La Roqcue said. “She tries to do the right thing. She wants to be coached.”

UNLV started the game strong, led by Young and Kiara Jackson, who combined the first eight points to give the Rebels an 8-4 lead.

The Lady Rebels created offense off defense in the quarter, forcing a turnover on reigning Mountain West Player of the Year McKenna Hofschild and scoring a layup to put the Rebels up 14-13 with 1:29 left in the quarter.

Inefficient shooting impacted the Rebels in the backend of the first quarter into the second quarter, but Obiazor broke the cold streak, stopping a four-minute scoring drought with a 3-pointer.

Momentum continued with UNLV scoring a putback layup, followed by a floater by Obiazor to put the Rebels up 20-16 with 4:52 remaining.

The Rams responded, scoring a jumper and a 3-pointer to take the lead 21-20.

Obiazor dominated the quarter, scoring a 3-pointer, but a layup by Sydney Mech tied the game 26-26 going into halftime.

The defense was a bright spot for the Rebels, holding the Rams to shooting 37% from the field and forcing six turnovers. UNLV also won the rebounding battle 19-16.

The Rebels struggled offensively, shooting 39% from the field and having eight turnovers.

“To be honest, I thought our turnovers in the first half just really shot us in the foot,” said La Rocque. “The shot selection could have been better, but that’s why we come in at halftime and make those adjustments.”

The Rams came out of halftime blazing hot, scoring five consecutive points to start the quarter.

A 3-pointer by Kimpson gave UNLV momentum. The Rebels continued its run, another from beyond the arc to take back the lead, 37-36, with 6:08 left.

The Colorado State offense was relentless, cashing in on back-to-back baskets, forcing the Rebels to call a timeout.

Ashley Scoggin was efficient in the quarter, scoring a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two with 4:11 on the clock.

UNLV had no answer for Leimane, who scored her third 3-pointer to extend the lead for the Rams, 47-41.

Young’s foul trouble created adversity for the Rebels, but Obiazor and Kimpson continued to step up for the Rebels. A layup from Kimpson cut the deficit to two to end the third quarter.

The crowd ignited after a touch pass from Young from beyond the arc to Kimson lead to an easy bucket to cut the Rams lead to one at 8:29.

A jumpshot by Jasmyn Lott continued the momentum for the Rebels and put them on the lead.

Kimspon’s hounding defense caused Hofchild to struggle, turning the ball over a sixth time midway through the fourth quarter.

“She’s [La Rocque] been pushing me to be a better one-on-one defender and team defender,” Kimpson said. “She just wants me to be better as a whole on defense, and I’ve been working on it.”

Young dominated the boards, grabbing two offensive rebounds and scoring a putback layup to put the Rebels up 58-53 at 3:51.

Kimpsons career night continued, scoring a jump shot, followed by a jumper by Young, giving the Rebels a 64-58 lead with 1:19.

A clutch free throw and a steal by Jackson sealed the deal for UNLV, making the final score 67-64.

The Rebels finished the game shooting 40.6% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc. 

The Rebels bench played a huge role in the victory, outscoring the Rams bench 37-0 for the game.

Up Next

UNLV is back at Thomas & Mack to take on the Air Force Falcons. Tip-off will be at 5 p.m.

“The Air Force has a great team. Their discipline, they play hard; obviously, that’s in their academy,” said La Rocque. “We’re going to have to, you know, flip the page and then get ready for a toughnose team.”


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