Aztecs escape with last-second win over Lady Rebels
Senior guard Mia Bell recorded a season-high 25 points in an effort to push the Lady Rebels past San Diego State to claim the sixth seed in the Mountain West tournament next week in Las Vegas.
But despite UNLV’s best efforts, Bell’s game-tying 3-pointer with just a few seconds left was no good, and the Aztecs beat the Lady Rebels, 64-63 Tuesday at the Viejas Arena.
At halftime, UNLV was down 35-26 after San Diego State took advantage of the Lady Rebels missing six consecutive shots and went on a 16-0 run to close the half. UNLV responded with a 6-0 run of its own to start the second half, cutting it to 35-32.
With six minutes left in the game, the score was tied 57-57 and for the rest of the game, it was a constant back-and-forth battle. But with 55 seconds on the clock, UNLV pulled ahead 61-60 with a 3-pointer from Bell.
The Aztecs quickly answered with a layup to claim the lead 62-61, before two free throws extended the lead to 64-61.
UNLV was running out of time. With mere seconds left to tie the game, Bell took a chance with a 3-pointer, but missed, allowing sophomore forward Amie Callaway to rebound and score with one second left.
UNLV shot 43 percent compared to San Diego State’s 40 percent.
Along with Bell, junior forward Alana Cesarz scored in double figures with 16 points.
San Diego State had three players score in double figures, with Cierra Warren recording 17 points and five rebounds. Khristina Hunter gave the Aztecs nine of their 36 rebounds.
For the second straight game, the Lady Rebels who usually struggle with turnovers, have used them to their advantage.
While they lost the ball 17 times themselves, they were able to turn San Diego State’s 19 turnovers into 26 points.
The loss to the Aztecs puts UNLV currently seventh in the Mountain West, and if the conference tournament began today, it would to play the No. 10 seed New Mexico in the first set of games on March 10 at 4:30 p.m.
UNLV travels back to Las Vegas to play its last game of the season against in-state rival Nevada-Reno on Saturday.
The Nevada-Reno game is also senior night, where the Lady Rebels will honor their four graduating seniors, Amanda Anderson, Rmanii Haynes, Friederike Moderegger and Bell.