UNLV WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COMES UP SHORT AT NEW MEXICO 65-58
Lady Rebels’ shooting falters during the final stretch
New Mexico opened the second half on a 14-2 run, and UNLV finished the game missing eight of its final nine shots on the way to a 65-58 setback at The Pit on Wednesday night in Mountain West women’s basketball action. The Lady Rebels dropped to 10-15 overall, 7-6 in league play with the loss, while UNM improved to 9-15, 4-9 in the conference.
UNLV held a 30-27 halftime advantage after forcing the Lobos into 15 first half turnovers. Offensive rebounding by New Mexico led to the first five points of the half though. After a jumper by Mia Bell to tie the game at 32-32, the Lobos reeled off nine more unanswered, going ahead 41-32 with 15:07 on the clock.
The lead was at eight points, 42-34, when Danielle Miller went on a 7-0 run for UNLV, and her layup off a steal from Bell brought UNLV within 42-41 at the 13:12 mark. The Lobos extended the lead back to six, 48-42, but UNLV kept fighting. A Miller jumper with 7:01 to play tied the score for the seventh time at 52-52.
New Mexico went back up by two off a Sara Halasz layup. After missed shots by both teams, UNLV had the ball and looked to tie the game, but Alana Cesarz was called for a foul despite being run over while setting a screen. That gave the ball back to the Lobos, who took advantage with a three-point play from Antiesha Brown. Cesarz answered right back with a three-point play of her own to make it a 57-55 game with 5:09 on the clock.
That was the last made shot for UNLV for the next 4:45 of the contest. Despite New Mexico struggling at the line at the end of the game, the Lobos managed to come up with four points from the charity stripe and converted a pair of layups to close out the win. Bell hit a jumper to stop a streak of seven missed shots, but it only managed to bring UNLV within 63-58 with 24 seconds to play.
The first half saw both teams commit five turnovers each over the opening minutes, and the lead switched hands seven times. It was also tied four times in the first 20 minutes, the last at 25-25 on a free throw from Khadijah Shumpert with 2:43 on the clock. Cesarz hit a jumper and Briana Charles drained a three-pointer for the Lady Rebs for their largest lead of the game at 30-25, before taking a three-point lead into the break.
Miller led all scorers with 20 for UNLV. Cesarz added 13 points, while Bell finished with 12 points and eight assists. UNLV shot 38.5% (25-of-65) from the floor, was just 3-of-13 from three-point range for 23.1%, while its five made free throws out of eight total attempts both tied season lows. The Lady Rebels were also outrebounded by a 47-33 margin. UNLV did come up with 15 steals while forcing 24 turnovers, but points off turnovers were tied at 17 for both squads.
Brown paced UNM with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Shumpert joined her in double-figures with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Lobos shot 43.9% (25-of-57) for the game, was 5-of-16 from three-point range for 31.3%, and 10-of-22 at the line for 45.5%.
UNLV plays again on Saturday, Feb. 22, when it hosts Boise State at 2 pm in the Cox Pavilion.