Lady Rebels dominate Falcons Thompson scores 22
Thompson scores 22 points, UNLV holds lead throughout entire game
The Lady Rebels grabbed another win Wednesday against the Air Force Falcons, 80-53.
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As the team inches closer to the Mountain West Conference Tournament, senior guard Kelli Thompson’s confidence shines through her performance.
“I just know how to score … It’s just what I do,” Thompson said. “You know each team and you know their strengths and weaknesses, and you take advantage of that.”
Thompson has carried the majority of the scoring load for the team since teammate Alana Cesarz went down with a season ending knee injury on Jan. 23. Thompson has scored 121 points over the last five games.
“That’s my job,” Thompson said. “I have to make sure that I come to practice and go hard, and that from the jump I have to be going hard. From the jump on the game, I have to be going hard … All of the rankings and awards at the end of the year mean nothing to me if we don’t win.”
Thompson scored 22 points against the Falcons, while Rejane Verin, Rmanii Haynes and Danielle Miller all scored in double digits.
“They are all doing a little something, and I think that is what team is all about,” said Head Coach Kathy Olivier.
The last encounter between the Lady Rebels and the Falcons was on Falcon territory and the Lady Rebels took the loss, 81-69. Thompson said she was looking to avenge the loss in Wednesday’s game.
“They kind of kicked our butt at their place, so we kind of had revenge a little bit,” Thompson said. “I don’t want to lose anywhere on the road as my last time, so I kind of had a chip on my shoulder.”
The Lady Rebels took an early lead and easily kept it throughout the game, with the Air Force never ahead.
However, both teams struggled with turnovers with UNLV at 27 and the Falcons at 24.
“It’s kind of been a problem all year, that we turn the ball over too much,” Olivier said. “If we could ever learn how to do that, we would be a very good basketball team. We [have to] make sure that we take care of the ball better.”
On the defensive end, UNLV grabbed as many rebounds (29) as Air Force tallied for the entire game. Collectively, the Lady Rebels had 42 rebounds.
Air Force more than doubled the Lady Rebels’ foul count, committing 25 to UNLV’s 12.
Up next for the Lady Rebels is a game at San Diego State. The Aztecs are currently in first place in the MWC while UNLV needs to win on Sunday to remain in fourth place.
“San Diego State has our number right now,” Olivier said.
Thompson remains confident in the team’s ability to focus and not be intimidated but bigger teams.
“San Diego State is a top dog,” Thompson said. “If [we] realize that [we]can play with them, we could beat anyone in this conference.”