Lady Rebels knocked off Women’s NCAA tournament by Creighton 

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UNLV No. 31 Erica Collins (Left) and No. 44 Alyssa Brown (Right) thank Rebel fans that traveled to watch the Rebels play Creighton. (Scarlet & Gray Free Press/DJ Cabanlong).

No. 10 seed UNLV Women’s basketball was defeated by the No. 7 seed Creighton Blue Jays 87-73 on March 23 at the Pauley Pavilion.

The determining factor of the game was Creighton’s ability to shoot from beyond the arc. The Blue Jays finished making 15-of-34 from 3-point range.

Emma Ronsiek and Morgan Maly dominated from deep, combining for eight of the Blue Jays’ 15 3-pointers.

Despite the loss, Desi-Rae Young scored her highest total in an NCAA tournament game with 30 points. She controlled the paint throughout the game with nine rebounds.

“She came to play today,” UNLV head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “She is a special player.”

Kiara Jackson played an efficient game at point guard, scoring 16 points with six assists against Creighton.

The Lady Rebels finished the game scoring more baskets than the Blue Jays, making 32 shots compared to Creighton’s 32, but the 3-point ball gave the Blue Jays the upper hand.

UNLV No. 3 Kiara Jackson dribbles the ball up the court against Creighton. (Scarlet & Gray Free Press/DJ Cabanlong).

Young made her presence in the paint to start the game, scoring the Rebels’ first four points from down low.

Creighton entered the tournament as a team that averages roughly nine 3-pointers per game, and Lauren Jensen splashed the first from beyond the arc to put the Blue Jays up 7-6.

The 3-point shot continued to rain for Creighton, with Jayme Horan and Jensen cashing in from deep to give the Blue Jays a 20-16 lead.

Jensen finished the first quarter with three from beyond the arc and contributed nine points to Creighton’s 23-16 lead at the end of the quarter.

The Lady Rebels struggled in the first quarter from deep, missing all four shots.

It was the same story at the beginning of the second quarter as the first, with the Lady Rebels scoring 2-pointers and the Blue Jays responding from beyond the arc.

Creighton made three from deep in the first four minutes of the second quarter to extend the lead to 33-23.

The Blue Jays cooled off from beyond the arc in the backend of the second quarter, and the Lady Rebels cut the deficit to four points with under two minutes remaining in the half.

Creighton’s 3-point shooting sparked again in the closing minutes of the half, with Morgan Maly making two from downtown to give the Blue Jays a 44-32 lead heading into the locker room.

“They finished on a 8-0 run and two of those threes were on transition,” La Rocque said. “We felt like we got it right where we wanted them at a couple of possessions, and then it did not feel good going into the halftime.”

The second half started identical to the first, with Young finding ways to score in the paint and the Blue Jays dominating the perimeter. 

3-pointers by Jensen and Ronsiek extended the Creighton lead to 50-36 early in the third quarter.

Jackson made the Rebels’ second basket from deep to cut the deficit to 56-43.

Both teams traded baskets in the backend of the third quarter, and Kimpson made a 3-pointer to make the score 65-53 going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter started with both teams making shots from beyond the arc, with Ronsiek and Brown trading 3-pointers.

UNLV and Creighton continued to trade baskets throughout the fourth quarter, and the Lady Rebels needed a momentum shift in the back end of the quarter, down 80-67 with just under 4:30 remaining in the game.

Creighton kept the foot on the gas through the remainder of the game and defeated the Lady Rebels 87-73 to advance to the Round of 32.

Up Next

UNLV Women’s basketball finishes its season with a 30-3 record and will compete in the 2024-2025 season to defend its three-peat in the Mountain West.

“This one loss doesn’t sour an incredible season,” La Rocque said. “To win 30 games in back-to-back years is very special and it is very hard to do.”

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