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First road trip of season sees Lady Rebels suffer first loss

In the team’s first road trip of the season, the UNLV Lady Rebels suffered their first loss of the season to a familiar non-conference foe as of late.


For a third straight season, UNLV and Pacific met in the non-conference slate, with the Tigers coming out on top. The Lady Rebels were downed, 75-68, Saturday, Dec. 3 from the Spanos Center.


“First off, they’re a really good team,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “They’re really well-coached and they play really hard. So the last couple of years, we’ve had some great battles with them. To be honest, I expected the same today.”


Last season, UNLV beat Pacific by a point while two seasons ago the team was beaten by two points.


Even with its most recent loss, the Lady Rebels are still off to their best start since the 1991-92 season.


This matchup marked the first of a four-game road trip. The next two contests will be played in Hawaii beginning Wednesday, Dec. 7.


“We’ve got a quick turnaround,” La Rocque said. “This [was] our first of four road games in a row so we’ve got to figure out our road toughness really quickly and pack it with us to Hawaii. I’m not sure we brought it with us here to Stockton but I know we have it.”


Hawaii Hilo is next on the schedule for UNLV with that game scheduled to be played Wednesday, Dec. 7. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.


Through the first three-plus minutes of the game, both UNLV and Pacific went without points. The Lady Rebels scored their first points of the game at the 6:48-mark of the first quarter while the Tigers did the same 57 seconds later.


By the end of the first quarter, both teams had combined to go 8-for-42 from the field as Pacific built an 11-10 lead going into the second quarter.


UNLV had more struggles in the second quarter as the home team built a lead as large as 17 points before ultimately heading into halftime down 16.


The Lady Rebel duo of guard Essence Booker and center Desi-Rae Young combined for just two first half points while going 1-for-12 from the field. As a team, UNLV shot 7-for-42 in that first half.


“I like to remember the good memories,” La Rocque said after being asked about the team’s first half production. “I definitely think this first half was one that I’m sure probably set some records that are not good records to set. But ultimately, that’s just kind of what the game presented. Again, I think it was a lot of self-inflicted wounds.”


Young scored her first points of the game on free throws in the third quarter and hit from the field on the team’s next possession. In the third quarter alone, she posted 13 of her team-high 18 points.


She finished with 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting while hauling in a game-high 12 rebounds.


Her effort saw the Lady Rebels cut the Tigers’ once 19-point lead back down to nine on two separate occasions.


“We had to play harder,” La Rocque said. “I challenged them at halftime to be who we are. I wasn’t sure what team kind of showed up there in that first half. From top to bottom.”


On the first occasion, it was a three-pointer from freshman guard Jasmyn Lott that was the difference.


Lott’s third three-pointer of the game cut the lead down to six in the fourth quarter. She ended the night with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.


“She is a dawg,” La Rocque said. “She doesn’t even know that to be honest, which I’m okay with right now. It seems like each game we challenge her with something different and put her in the position to make some huge plays for us and she really does.”


UNLV would trim the lead to as little as four with less than 30 seconds left in regulation.

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