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3-Peat Clinched

La Rocque, Lady Rebels take Mountain West in rivalry game blowout win

A huge win in the Silver State Rivalry captured a third straight regular season conference championship for the UNLV Lady Rebels.


UNLV trounced Nevada – Reno, 98-67, Saturday, Feb. 24 from the Lawlor Events Center in northern Nevada to clinch the outright Mountain West title. In just four years as the lead woman for the Lady Rebels, head coach Lindy La Roque has racked up an overall conference record of 60-9.


“We wanted to come out and get it outright – whether it was home or away,” La Rocque said. “To play well on the road at Reno is a testament to our team, our staff and our preparation. It feels good regardless of where it was or who it was against.”


While sweeping the season series with the intrastate rival Wolf Pack, the now back-to-back-to-back Mountain West champs won the series by a total of 76 points.


Now sporting a 24-2 overall record to go with its new hardware, UNLV will now engage in its final homestand of the regular season starting with a Wednesday, Feb. 28 meeting with Boise State at 6:30 p.m.


“Obviously, we’ve already clinched the championship,” La Rocque said. “But our team deserves a great crowd to help them celebrate, help us celebrate. We’re asking and wanting everyone to show up and roll deep.”


Much like many of their recent games, the Lady Rebels dominated in the paint to the tune of scoring its first 10 points inside in the key. Fourteen of the team’s first 15 points came inside the paint in this wire-to-wire win.


“Points were harder to come by at Wyoming,” La Rocque said. “Just to get in an offensive groove and rhythm, really attacked the paint – it’s good for our aggressiveness at this point in the year because we want to continue that forward.”


Senior center Desi-Rae Young accounted for the team’s first four points while making history along the way. Her first made field goal of the night moved her into sole possession of second place on UNLV’s all-time scoring list.


Additionally, Young reached 1900 career points in the first half on the way to 17 points on 7-of-11 from the field. She also tallied 10 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the year and the 47th of her career.


“We’ve kind of known for a while now that Desi’s going to leave UNLV as one of the most decorated players in the history books,” La Rocque said. “Scoring, rebounds, it’s a testament to her and her investment in us but also our investment in her.”


By the 6:13-mark of the third quarter, nine Lady Rebels had scored with the lead swelling up to 33 and an eventual 43 points. Eventually all 11 players in uniform scored in the lopsided win.


Four starters reached double-figures including leading scorer Kiara Jackson with her 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Junior guard Alyssa Durazo-Frescas added 11 points of her own with three made threes while fifth-year senior Ashley Scoggin contributed 10.


The bench for UNLV was a shining piece to the victory as it outscored UNR’s bench, 41-5. Senior forward Nneka Obiazor and sophomore guard Jasmyn Lott each poured in 13 points.


“Any game where we can score a lot of points and have everyone do their jobs, it just allows people to come in and continue to keep the job going,” La Rocque said. “It starts with our first five at the start of the game to set the tone then everyone off the bench carries the same mentality throughout the game. I love games like this where everybody gets to get in.”


After shooting 73% in the first quarter, the Lady Rebs would go on to shoot 58% for the game including a 46%-mark from three-point range. The win was punctuated by an 18-0 run in the fourth quarter during a Wolf Pack scoreless stretch of more than four minutes.

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