UNLV LADY REBELS BEGINS MW CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY MONDAY
Fifth-seed Lady Rebels open the 2019 tournament with quarterfinal contest against fourth-seed Fresno State
The UNLV women’s basketball team will be the fifth seed in next week’s 2019 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championships, which will be held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas from March 10-13. UNLV finished in a tie for fifth place with Utah State as both teams posted 10-8 conference marks, but the Lady Rebels won the tiebreaker thanks to their 77-56 victory over the Aggies in Las Vegas on Feb. 2 in what was the only meeting between the teams in the regular season.
UNLV (12-17 overall) will open the tournament in the quarterfinals on Monday at 2:30 pm against fourth-seed Fresno State. The winner of Monday’s contest will advance to the semifinals on Tuesday. The Mountain West Network will produce and broadcast live streams of the first nine women’s basketball tournament games. These games will be available on the Mountain West Network at TheMW.com. These broadcasts will also be available over-the-air on Stadium and Stadium’s mobile applications on Apple TV and Roku, Facebook and on UNLVRebels.com. The championship game will be shown live on CBS Sports Network.
The Lady Rebels have faced Fresno State three times in the MW Championships, and lost all three, beginning with an 80-65 loss to the second-seed Bulldogs in the 2014 Quarterfinals. Fresno State then knocked UNLV out of the tournament semifinals in back-to-back years, 66-60 in 2016 again as a two-seed, and in 2017 when it upset the second-seeded Lady Rebels 53-51 as a seventh-seed. The teams met just once this year, a 73-55 loss for the Lady Rebels on Feb. 9 in Fresno after they entered the fourth quarter with a one-point lead. All-time UNLV is 11-9 against Fresno State in Las Vegas, though only 1-7 in the last eight contests.
The Lady Rebels are 9-10 in their first game of the tournament, which for the first eight years of the conference was their quarterfinal contest, before three years of a double-bye system. UNLV is 7-13 all-time as the higher seed in the MW Tournament.
This is the Lady Rebels’ fifth time as a No. 5 seed in the MW Tournament. UNLV was the fifth seed in the inaugural tournament in 2000, and again in 2001, 2005 and 2015. UNLV advanced to the semifinals as a No. 5 seed in both 2000 and 2005, where it eventually fell to the No. 1 seed both times.
Kathy Olivier, in her 11-year as the Lady Rebels’ head coach, is 6-10 all-time with UNLV in the MW Tournament, while the Lady Rebels have an 12-19 (.387) tournament record. UNLV has advanced to the championship game once (2002), and has eight semifinal appearances in the 19-year history of the league.
The tournament starts with the first round on Sunday, March 10 with games at 2, 4:30 and 7 pm. Quarterfinal action begins on Monday, March 11 (12, 2:30, 6 and 8:30 pm), the semifinals are on Tuesday, March 12 (6, 8:30 pm) with the championship slated for Wednesday, March 13 at 7 pm. The winner of the tournament will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
All-session and single-session tickets for the 2019 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championship are now on sale at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, online at UNLVTickets.com or by calling 702-739-FANS.