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UNLV WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NEWS: Championship On The Mind For Lady Rebels’ Final Road Trip

CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE MIND FOR LADY REBELS’ LAST ROAD TRIP

UNLV visits Wyoming Thursday night in Laramie

UNLV begins its final road stretch as the Lady Rebels visit Wyoming on Thursday, Feb. 24. Tip off is 5:30 p.m. PT.

With three games to play in the regular season, UNLV can clinch a share of the Mountain West regular season championship with one more victory. With two wins the Lady Rebels can claim the conference title outright.

The Lady Rebels have won 12 straight games, a streak that leads the Mountain West and ranks fifth in NCAA Division I. It’s UNLV’s longest win streak since 18 straight wins in 1992-93.

A live video stream is available on the Mountain West Network. Live audio, featuring Wyatt Tomchek on play-by-play, can be heard at UNLVRebels.com.

  • All-time series: Wyoming leads 27-26.
  • Streak: Won 1.
  • First meeting: Feb. 29, 1980. UNLV won 66-46 at the AIAW Regional in San Jose, Calif.
  • Last meeting: Dec. 31, 2021. UNLV won 66-60 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.

Scouting Wyoming

  • Wyoming has won four of its last five games, including a 60-59 decision at New Mexico captured on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
  • The Cowgirls are 7-2 at home this season, where they have outscored opponents an average of 65-55. In contrast Wyoming scoring margin away from home is -0.8 points per game.
  • Wyoming also holds a +10.4 rebounding margin in home games compared to ­+4.3 away.
  • Against Mountain West foes, UNLV (.387) and Wyoming (.398) are the top two, respectively, field goal percentage defenses and rebounding (+9.1; +8.6) margin teams.
  • Wyoming had only nine of its 13 players available for its Dec. 31 meeting against UNLV.
  • McKinley Bradshaw leads the Cowgirls in scoring, and ranks eighth in conference, with 14.6 points per game.

Lady Rebels’ last time out: UNLV 104, San Jose State 63

  • UNLV won its 12th consecutive game and reached a 22-4 overall record for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
  • It’s 104 points were the most scored in a non-exhibition contest since defeating Long Beach, 108-81, in the Big West Tournament on March 9, 1994.
  • UNLV’s 28 assists were its most since counting 35 against Long Beach on Feb. 25, 1994.
  • Four Lady Rebels reached double-digit scoring by halftime.
  • Justice Ethridge led all scorers with a season-high 18 points. Essence Booker added 16, Desi-Rae Young scored 15, while Khayla Rooks and Nneka Obiazor contributed 13 apiece.
  • Keyana Wilfred scored a season-high nine points, hitting four of five field goals.
  • UNLV shot 61 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range.
  • The Spartans scored only four points (one 3-pointer and one free throw) off 11 offensive rebounds. UNLV did not allow SJSU to grab a single offensive board after halftime.
  • All seven UNLV reserves played and combined for 37 points and 57 percent field goal shooting.

Start me up

  • UNLV’s 22-4 start is the program’s best in 29 seasons.
  • The 1992-93 Lady Rebels (24-7, 15-3 Big West) reached 22 wins before suffering a fifth loss.
  • The 1989-90 Lady Rebels completed their season at 28-3.

Setting records in the classroom

  • The Lady Rebels finished the Fall 2021 term with a program record 3.44 team GPA.
  • Six players — Essence Booker, Alyssa Brown, Alyssa Durazo-Frescas, Justice Ethridge, Jade Thomas and Taylin Smith — earned Dean’s List distinction (for undergraduates only).
  • Graduate senior Khayla Rooks crushed it in her first post-grad semester, earning a 3.80 GPA in cybersecurity studies.

Short memories

  • The Lady Rebels have only suffered consecutive defeats once under Lindy La Rocque.
  • Under La Rocque, UNLV is 11-1 following a loss (in the same season of play) with an average margin of victory of 17 points in those nine games.

NET effect

  • UNLV hovers at No. 80 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, leading all Mountain West teams by nearly 20 positions.
  • UNLV ‘s position is about 10 steps higher than it was before defeating New Mexico on Jan. 27 and is 25 positions higher since conference play began.
  • UNLV is one of eight teams with an undefeated record over its last 10 games.

Up the quad and to the gymnasium

UNLV currently holds a 12-game winning streak, its longest since  18 straight in 1993.

  • 22 games – 1989-90, 1978-79
  • 18 – 1992-93
  • 15 – 1977-78
  • 14 – 1990-91
  • 13 – 1988-89
  • 12 – 1984-85, 1975-76, 2021-22
  • 11 – 1982-83
  • 10 – 2003-04, 2001-02

Top 25 team / NCAA statistical rankings

UNLV ranks in the top 25 in five team statistical categories:

  • 13th, win percentage (84.6 percent)
  • 19th, scoring offense (76.3)
  • 21st, field goal percentage (.452)
  • 15th, free throws made (383)
  • 23rd, free throw attempts (518)
  • 21st, rebound margin (+8.0)

24 for 31

  • Essence Booker’s 31 points scored against New Mexico on Jan. 27 were the most by a Lady Rebel since Dakota Gonzalez also scored 31 in a 63-55 at San Jose State on Feb. 11, 2017.
  • Booker crossed the 1,000 career points scored milestone in the game.

Free range

  • Essence Booker ranks eighth among Division I players with a .913 free throw percentage.
  • Booker’s 14-for-14 free throw shooting against Boise State set a UNLV record.
  • UNLV’s single-season free throw percentage record is .889 set by Shari Netzel in 1988-89.
  • Booker career-long free throw streak ended on Feb. 12 vs. San Diego State at 32 straight.

Twice the freshness

  • Alyssa Durazo-Frescas’ 43 percent 3-point field goal shooting ranks 21st among all Division I players and is second best in the Mountain West.
  • The freshman is challenging for best single-season 3FG percentage in UNLV history (.456, Cherie Hogg, 1994).
  • Durazo-Frescas leads Lady Rebels in fewest turnovers per minutes played, counting just one for every 35 minutes on the court.

Second impressions

  • Freshman point guard Kiara Jackson is getting comfortable in the Mountain West. In UNLV’s last three games, having faced opponents for a second time, Jackson’s performance has improved two-fold in most areas.
  • In rematches against MW opponents, Jackson has scored 6.3 points per game versus 3.9 in the inital run through the conference schedule.
  • She has also improved assists per game to 2.5 from 1.5 and steals to 1.5 from 0.4.

Half-life

  • Desi-Rae Young scores 9.0 (60 percent) of her 15.5 points per game in the second half.
  • Young has reached double-figure scoring in a single half 15 times (six in a first half, nine in a second half) this season. She has also reached 10 or more points in a single period five times.

Diversity reigns at UNLV

  • UNLV is recognized as the most diverse university in the United States. For the fall 2021 semester, nearly 67 percent of students identify as ethnic minorities. This figure has increased two percent since fall 2020.
  • Approximately 31 percent of UNLV students are Hispanic and 16 percent are of Asian descent.
  • Nevada residents make up 86 percent of UNLV’s enrollment of 30,679 students.
  • Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D., became UNLV’s first Black president (11th overall) upon his appointment on Aug. 24, 2020.
  • Erick Harper is UNLV’s first Black director of athletics, following the departure of Desiree Reed-Francois, the first person of color to hold the position.
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UNLV WOMEN'S BASKETBALL NEWS: Championship On The Mind For Lady Rebels' Final Road Trip
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UNLV WOMEN'S BASKETBALL NEWS: Championship On The Mind For Lady Rebels' Final Road Trip