Big second half from Lady Rebels leads to first loss of season for Lobos
A second half surge from the UNLV Lady Rebels was key in handing the New Mexico Lobos their first loss of the season, topping their conference rival, 78-60, Friday, Jan. 15, from the Cox Pavilion.
The big win ties UNLV with Fresno State for fourth in the Mountain West Conference and improves the team’s overall record to 5-5 and 3-2 in the conference.
The Lady Rebels will take Saturday off before returning to action Sunday, Jan. 17, against the Lobos once more as they attempt to go for the sweep.
Tip-off from the Cox Pavilion is scheduled for 2 p.m.
After trailing by eight at halftime, UNLV’s defense clamped down on New Mexico in the second half holding the high scoring team to 20 points total with a mere seven points scored in the fourth quarter.
A dominating 26-6 run by the Lady Rebels late put the Lobos away for good.
During this stretch, sisters Bailey and Jade Thomas were causing havoc on both ends of the floor and helped close out New Mexico
Back-to-back threes by the Thomas sisters at the start of the fourth was the beginning of the route.
New Mexico entered the contest undefeated at 5-0 and fronted one of the best offenses in the nation.
The Lobos shot 11-for-40 from three-point distance, thanks to hard closeouts made by the Lady Rebels on defense.
UNLV’s attention to drawing fouls and causing turnovers played part in the important win.
The Lady Rebels’ desire to attack the paint and fight for every rebound fouled out two Lobo’s players. UNLV made 22 trips to the free throw line while limiting New Mexico to five.
Forward Delaynie Byrne finished with a game-high 21 points on 70 percent shooting from the field including 4-for-6 shooting from deep range.
She also racked up five rebounds and two assists.
UNLV’s pressure defense gave New Mexico star Jaedyn De Le Cerda fits.
She finished with four points and five turnovers.