UNLV WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NEWS: Bell, Miller Rally Lady Rebels Past San Jose State In MW First Round 78-75




Lady Rebels win face second-seeded Fresno State on Tuesday night at 6 pm in the quarterfinals

With less then four minutes to play and seventh-seeded UNLV trailing by six points, Mia Bell and Danielle Miller scored the next 11 points of the game for the Lady Rebels, helping them end the game on a 13-4 run to rally past 10th-seed San Jose State 78-75 on Monday night in the first round of the 2014 Reese’s Mountain West Championships at the Thomas & Mack Center. With the win, their first in the conference tournament since 2009, the Lady Rebels improved to 13-18 overall, and will face second-seed Fresno State in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 6 pm.

It was the biggest comeback win of the year for UNLV after trailing by 13 points in the first half to the Spartans. SJSU finished the game with 11 three-pointers, which tied for the second-most three-pointers in a game in MW Championship history. Their advantage from behind the arc was key to the Spartans holding a lead for the majority of the game, as UNLV made a season-low 2-of-15 for 13.3%, after entering the game as the top three-point percentage team in the conference.

UNLV was down by seven at halftime, but opened the second half on a 14-5 run to grab a 48-46 edge at the 13:56 mark. SJSU answered back with a run of its own, a 10-0 spurt that included a pair of three-pointers. A jumper from Britta Hall made the lead 56-48 with 12:02 on the clock. UNLV stayed close for the next eight minutes, but could not force the Spartans to give up the lead, and fell behind by six, 71-65 on a three-point play from Richol West with 3:45 to play.

UNLV then started its game-winning run, with a pair of free throws from Bell, and following a turnover from West, Miller drained a three-pointer to bring UNLV within 71-70 at the 3:01 mark. The teams then went scoreless on their next seven combined possessions. Entering the final minute of play, a jumper by Bell was blocked but Miller got the offensive rebound and laid it back in for a 72-71 UNLV lead. Ta’Rea Cunnigan scored on the other end for the Spartans, and then Miller drew a foul and went to the line, draining two for a 74-73 UNLV edge with 39 seconds to play. The Spartans then attempted to work the ball inside the post on their possession, but Bell and Miller teamed up to come away with a steal and keep the ball inbounds. Bell then made two more free throws at the line to put UNLV up three with 15 seconds to play. UNLV allowed SJSU to score a layup, and Charles sank two more free throws to again put UNLV up by three, 78-75. Classye James’ trey at the buzzer was off the mark, giving the win to UNLV.

The story of the first half was the Spartans’ three-point shooting, as they knocked down a total of eight in the first 20 minutes. UNLV had scored the first five points of the game before a Woodberry trey put the Spartans ahead 6-5. The Lady Rebels’ last lead of the half was at 13-12 on a pair of Aley Rohde free throws, before back-to-back Woodberry treys put SJSU up 18-15. The Spartans went ahead by 13 points, 36-23 off a trey from Ta’Rea Cunnigan with 4:29 to play. UNLV played itself back into the game thanks to a 6-0 run that cut the deficit to 36-27, and the edge was again at seven, 41-34 going into the break.

UNLV placed five players in double-figures for the first time in over two years, led by a career-high 16 from Rohde on 6-of-6 shooting. Miller was next with 14 points, while Alana Cesarz added 13 and seven rebounds. Rejane Verin and Mia Bell both had 10 points as well as eight and seven rebounds, respectively. Amie Callaway recorded seven points and 11 rebounds for UNLV. As a team, UNLV shot 38.6% (27-of-70) and was 22-of-32 for 68.8% at the line. The rebounding battle went to the Lady Rebels 52-44, while they also came up with nine steals, and held a 46-24 edge on points in the paint.

SJSU was led by James 22 points. Woodberry finished 6-of-12 from three-point range on the way to 20 points, and Cunnigan added 11. SJSU shot 36.1% (26-of-72), was 11-of-29 for 37.9% from downtown, and 12-of-17 at the line for 70.6%.

UNLV WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NEWS: Four Straight Wins After 74-59 Victory Over San Diego State




Lady Rebels claim first win over Aztecs in four years

Danielle Miller, Mia Bell and Alana Cesarz combined for 56 points to help UNLV claim a fourth straight victory, 74-59 over San Diego State in Mountain West women’s basketball action on Saturday night from the Cox Pavilion. The win was the first by the Lady Rebels in the series since Feb. 13, 2010, breaking a six-game losing streak. UNLV also held its opponent under 60 points for the third straight game as it improved to 7-10 overall, and 4-1 in league play, just one win behind first-place Colorado State and Fresno State. SDSU dropped to 5-10, 2-3 in MW play.

There were five ties and seven lead changes in the first 15 minutes of the game, until UNLV scored 17 points over the final five minutes for its highest halftime total of the season with a 41-36 lead over the Aztecs. San Diego State closed to within three several times in the second half, but UNLV closed out the game on a 14-2 run over the last six minutes to earn the victory.

“First half we did a really good job of moving the ball around and going inside-out in order to get some clean three looks, and we were able to make our threes,” said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. “Mia hit a couple of big threes in the first half, and then I felt we did a good job in the second half of not falling in love with the three, still working the ball inside and getting some easier baskets. I thought we did a better job on rebounds after the opening half, and we’ve done such a good job of taking care of the ball and applying defensive pressure, that’s been our success right now.”

Miller led all scorers with 20 points, while Bell added 19 points, five assists and three steals. She also tied a career-high with five treys, while Cesarz posted 17 points and seven rebounds. For the second straight game the Lady Rebels set a new season-high for three-pointers made, this time with nine against a packed in San Diego State zone that was willing to give up the open looks from outside. Another key to the win was UNLV’s defense, as it came up with 12 steals and forced 20 SDSU turnovers. That led to a 17-5 edge on points off turnovers for UNLV.

“Mia was great tonight, she had excellent leadership and hit some key threes in the first half, said Olivier. “In the second half she kept us organized. She is a very smart basketball player, she attacked tonight when she needed to and knew the right time to pull out and run the offense.”

San Diego State held the lead for the majority of the opening 14 minutes of the game, but never by more then four points. The Aztecs were ahead 19-15 before Amanda Anderson drained a three-pointer to bring UNLV within one. Then after Chairese Culberson nailed a trey for SDSU, Bell answered with her second three-pointer of the game, and Cesarz added a layup to put UNLV ahead 23-22 at the 6:48 mark. Deajanae Scurry put the Aztecs back ahead with a jumper, but then Aley Rohde made the first of two free throws to tie the game, while Cesarz rebounded her missed second free throw and put it back in for a 26-24 Lady Rebel edge with 5:50 to play. UNLV would not give up that lead the rest of the game, with Bell draining a pair of three-pointers in the final 77 seconds to give the team a five-point edge at the half.

SDSU scored the first basket of the second half, and managed to keep within eight points or less for the next 10 minutes. UNLV then went ahead by nine, 58-49 on a pair of Cesarz free throws, but that was answered by a 6-0 run by the Aztecs. Khristina Hunter capped the run, cutting the edge to 58-55 with 8:40 to play. After the team traded baskets, Bell hit a trey to start a 7-0 run, with the final four points coming from Cesarz. Danesha Long made the edge single digits with a jumper at the 3:30 mark. That was the final points for the Aztecs, and UNLV ended the game going 7-of-10 at the free throw line to earn the 15-point victory.

UNLV shot 44.6% (25-of-56) for the game, connected on 42.9% (9-of-21) from downtown, and made 15-of-21 at the charity stripe for 71.4%. UNLV was outrebounded by a 42-32 margin, but held a 14-12 edge on second chance points. The Lady Rebels posted more then 20 assists for the second straight game with 22.

Hunter led the Aztecs with 18 points, while Long added 12. Cierra Warren, the team’s leading scorer this season, was held to six points in 18 minutes before fouling out. SDSU shot 40.7% (24-of-59) for the night, was 3-of-16 from behind the three-point line for 18.8%, and made 8-of-13 at the line for 61.5%.

The Lady Rebels will be on the road for two games next week, starting with a Wednesday, Jan. 22 contest at Utah State, at 7 pm in Logan, Utah.

UNLV WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NEWS: Miller Leads Lady Rebels To 72-65 MW Road Win At Air Force




Danielle Miller scores career-high 24 points in the victory

Trailing by seven points late in the game, UNLV hit Air Force with an 18-3 run and would score 26 points in the final six minutes to claim a 72-65 Mountain West women’s basketball road victory at Air Force on Saturday afternoon from Clune Arena. The Lady Rebels snapped a losing streak to improve to 4-10 overall, 1-1 in league play.

“We did a good job when we got in trouble and fell behind,” said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. “We got together and had some good execution and some things went our way. Good things happen when you think positive, and we were able to use that to pull out the road win at the end.”

The Falcons (1-11, 0-2 MW) led by as much as nine points, and were ahead 50-42 at the 9:11 mark of the second half. After UNLV scored four straight to close within four points, Air Force’s Camille Thompson drained a three-pointer to push the edge back to seven, 53-46 with 6:06 on the clock. UNLV then clamped down on defense, not allowing a point for almost a three-minute stretch. Danielle Miller meanwhile led the charge on the offensive side, scoring six straight before Réjane Vérin converted a layup off a great assist through traffic by Mia Bell. Vérin’s basket, coming at the 3:26 mark, gave UNLV a 54-53 advantage, its first lead since late in the first half.

After Air Force went one-of-two at the line on the other end to tie the score, Aley Rohde was the next Lady Rebel to step up. On the next four possessions, she scored off an offensive rebound, blocked a Falcon shot, hit a short jumper off a Miller assist, and then rebounded the next Air Force miss, which lead to a Vérin layup and a 60-54 edge. Air Force drew a foul and made two free throws to close within four. UNLV answered back with four of its own at the line, going up 64-56 at the 1:19 mark. That completed the 18-3 run for UNLV, of which 16 of the 18 points were scored by the trio of Vérin, Rohde and Miller. Air Force did cut the edge to four once, but UNLV closed out the win by going 8-of-8 at the charity stripe in the final minute.

Miller finished the afternoon with a career-high 24 points, and was 12-of-16 at the free throw line, which included making her last 10 attempts. Vérin was next for UNLV with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Bell posted her fifth straight game in double-figures with 12. Rohde notched her second double-double in a row with 11 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds. UNLV shot just 32.8% (21-of-64) from the floor and was 2-of-11 from three-point range, with both makes coming from Bell. The Lady Rebels made up for their shooting by getting to the line, where they were 28-of-38 for 73.7%. The Lady Rebels also held advantages in both points off turnovers (17-10) thanks to their 14 steals, and in second chance points in 17-7, as they owned a 46-40 edge on the boards, and 17-8 on the offensive side.

“I thought Danielle did a great job today,” said Olivier. “She played aggressive basketball today she’s had a really good few days of practice, is stepping up as a leader. I thought she did a good job of playing good defense while staying in with her fourth foul, and made all her free throws down the stretch. Réjane really stepped up on the boards, Mia had great leadership, while Aley also did a great job rebounding today.

“One of our keys today was to take advantage of our inside presence, and while we didn’t score as much as we wanted in the paint, we were able to draw fouls and get to the line. We had good energy today, and when you have good energy on the road that’s a big advantage.”

The first half was tight for the first few minutes until UNLV used an 8-2 run to open up a 21-14 lead at the 7:46 mark. The lead was still at seven points with under five to go, 27-20, when Camille Thompson scored five straight for the Falcons and Lindsey Lewis added a jumper to tie the game. Following a Miller layup, Thompson completed a four-point play to put Air Force ahead, and they added three more points for a 34-29 edge, before the Lady Rebs scored the last four points of the half to go into halftime trailing 34-33.

In the second half, the Lady Rebels got a jumper from Alana Cesarz, but then went cold from the floor, not getting another basket for a three-minute span. Air Force would push the lead back to seven during that time, and the advantage for the Falcons stayed at five or higher until the final six minutes.

Air Force was led by Thompson with 23 points. Lewis and Charae Medina both added 12 each. The Falcons shot 42.6% (23-of-54) for the game, were 6-of-20 for 30% from behind the arc, and made 13-of-19 at the free throw line for 68.4%.

The Lady Rebels play again on the road in their next game, a Wednesday, Jan. 8 contest at in-state rival Nevada, Reno at 6:30 pm, That game is also part of the Govenor’s Series, the all-sports competition between the two schools sponsored by NV Energy.