The UNLV Lady Rebels battled through another tough game to defeat the Fresno State Bulldogs 69-59 and earn their 11th win in a row.
“We’ve been able to win in multiple different ways,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “A night like tonight just shows the balance that we’re capable of.”
The Lady Rebels finished with five players scoring 11 or more points. Desi-Rae Young topped the scoring with 15 points and also added 10 rebounds.
A quick start for the Lady Rebels saw Alyssa Durazo-Frescas and Khayla Rooks both hit three-pointers to make the score 6-0.
It looked like it may be a blowout win for the Lady Rebels who jumped out to a 15-3 lead with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs prevented that by asserting themselves on defense. They played a zone defense, trapping and doubling the Lady Rebels often.
Amiee Book and Imani Lacy came off the bench for the Bulldogs to score five quick points. The first quarter ended with the Lady Rebels leading 17-8.
The Bulldogs ramped up the pressure on the Lady Rebels in the second quarter. The Bulldogs shot 57.1% from the field compared to 35.3% for the Lady Rebels.
A nervy second quarter saw the score cut all the way down to 24-22 to the Lady Rebels.
The Lady Rebels did succeed in keeping the Bulldogs leading scorers Hanna and Haley Cavinder quiet. The Cavinder twins shot only 3 for 14 in the first half.
The score sat at 31-28 at the end of the first half. Young led the Lay Rebels with eight points.
The third quarter started badly for the Lady Rebels. Hanna Cavinder struck first for the Bulldogs, scoring a layup after 19 seconds to decrease the deficit to one point.
From that point, the Lady Rebels went on a 9-2 run with a Durazo-Frescas three-pointer being the highlight of this run.
Each time the Lady Rebels would go on a run, the Bulldogs would match it. An 8-3 run by the Bulldogs ended the third quarter with the Lady Rebels up 43-40.
The Bulldogs continued their momentum to start the fourth quarter following a quick layup from Lacy just nine seconds in. Justice Ethridge put a stop to that after making a huge three-pointer which livened up the crowd and increased the lead to 46-42.
Young and Nneka Obiazor gave the Bulldogs all kinds of trouble inside the paint the entire game. Both were fouled repeatedly and combined to shoot 17 free-throws.
Hanna Cavinder scored eight of her 10 points for the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough.
The dagger for the game came when Durazo-Frescas answered a Laci three-pointer with her own three-pointer to increase the Lady Rebels lead to five points.
From then on, it became a free-throw contest. The Lady Rebels hit 16 out of 18 free-throws in the fourth quarter to ice the game. The final score was 69-59 to the Lady Rebels.
The Bulldogs got a surprising 19 points from Lacy, while top scorer Haley Cavinder only managed nine points on 3 for 13 shooting.
The Lady Rebels will remain at home to face the San Jose State Spartans next on Feb 19. at 1 p.m. before hitting the road on Feb. 24 to play the Wyoming Cowboys at 5:30 p.m.