Lady Rebels falter late against Lobos
So close, yet so far away. That was the story for the Lady Rebels (10-15, 7-6) as they fell to New Mexico (9-15, 4-9) 65-58 at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. on Wednesday.
The loss came after a close win over Utah State on Saturday. UNLV was hoping that win was going to be the beginning of another winning streak. The Lobos had another idea.
UNLV now sits in sixth place in the Mountain West standings, two games behind in-state rival Nevada-Reno.
The Lady Rebels led at halftime 30-27. Being up at halftime is an aspect of the game UNLV knows all too well. During its three-game losing streak prior to the win over the Aggies, the Lady Rebels trailed by a combined 50 points heading into halftime.
But that lead wouldn’t last long. The Lobos opened the second half on a 14-2 run in less than five minutes of play. But UNLV responded with a 9-1 run to make it a 42-41 New Mexico lead with 13:12 remaining.
After forward Alana Cesarz converted an and-one opportunity with 5:09 remaining to make it a 57-55 game, both teams went over two minutes without a basket until New Mexico’s Alexa Chavez made a layup with 3:01 to go.
New Mexico ended the game on an 8-3 run, and UNLV missed six of its last seven shots in the final five-plus minutes.
Over the past couple of weeks, shooting has been an issue for the Lady Rebels.
But their performance during both games against Utah State and New Mexico has been better as of late. UNLV finished shooting 50 percent from the floor against Utah State, but shot 38 percent against the Lobos.
Junior guard Danielle Miller lead the Lady Rebels with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 9-of-19 shooting performance. Cesarz recorded 13 points but shot only 33 percent to get there, with senior guard Mia Bell finishing with 12 points (also on 33 percent) and a game-high eight assists.
New Mexico shot 44 percent from the floor, and only had two players reach double-figures. Antiesha Brown scored 18 points and Khadijah Shumpert had a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Both teams struggled to take care of the ball, as the Lobos lost the ball 24 times, compared to UNLV’s 17. New Mexico recorded 15 of those turnovers in the first half alone. However, both teams scored 17 points off of turnovers.
Getting to the line is something UNLV has always relied upon. Not on Wednesday. The Lady Rebels only got to the line eight times.
The Lady Rebels head back home as they gear up to host Boise State at 2 p.m. in the Cox Pavilion. The last contest between these two teams ended in the biggest loss for UNLV this season, 79-49, in Boise, Idaho.