Junior Nia Johnson led the UNLV Lady Rebels to their sixth road victory, this time against the San Diego Aztecs, 80-65, Monday, Feb. 15 from Viejas Arena.
“One down, one to go here on the road. I was really proud of how we started the game ,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said.
UNLV will continue to be on the road to finish off their back-to-back with the Aztecs on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 3pm, for a Mountain West conference decision maker, as the Lady Rebels are closing in on taking the number one spot from Colorado State.
Following game two against the Aztecs, the Lady Rebels will finish the regular season with two road games against an important rival in the Fresno State Bulldogs.
With the win, the Lady Rebels still remain in fourth place in the MW standings with an 10-5 conference record and a 12-8 overall record.
Although UNLV continues to remain at fourth place in the conference, they have the third best MW record just only behind, first place Colorado State (10-2) and third place Fresno State (11-3).
New Mexico remains above UNLV in third with a 6-2 record in conference and 9-2 overall.
Over the course of the season, the Lady Rebels have had a profound determination to prove to themselves that they can compete with the best, despite the lack of experience.
They currently sit one game and a half behind first-place Colorado State.
UNLV will be a part of huge games that will have conference and Mountain West Tournament ramifications with them.
Their second game against San Diego State and their two games against Fresno State are the important games that the Lady Rebels should list as “must win games.”
Offensively, the Lady Rebels were motivated to get back to playing their brand of basketball, with ball movement and getting each other involved in the game.
They shot 47.5 percent from the field and 68.4 percent free throw line however, they shot 40 percent from the three-point range.
Johnson recorded 22 points on 9-of-22 shooting, five rebounds and three steals making her the Lady Rebel of the Game.
Her performance did not stand alone as she was joined by three of her teammates to help secure their victory over the Aztecs.
Freshman Desi-Rae Young recorded 12 points and nine rebounds making her one rebound short of a double-double, while sophomore Delaynie Bryne recorded 15 points and eight rebounds and three steals.
They were joined by freshman Anna Blount as she recorded 11 points off the bench.
UNLV also only committed nine turnovers on the day.
“We came out right from the games, pushing in transition, attacking the basket, we were able to knock down some shots, but what won us the game was our defense,” La Rocque said. “Rebounding, defending the three-point line, just overall a strong defensive game by us today.”
Defensively, the Lady Rebels came out aggressive, challenging every shot attempt the Aztecs decided to take. They forced the Aztecs to shoot 40 percent from the field and 20 percent from the three-point line.
The Lady Rebels out-rebounded the Aztecs 43-to-33, another major statistic that will help UNLV win games when they matter the most.
It seems UNLV is gaining accomplishments as the season goes along. The Lady Rebels have the fifth-best record on the road in the nation at 6-0 and also hold the 10th longest active win streak in the nation.
The Lady Rebels moved up to fourth in the nation for most free throws made so far in the season with 326 made so far.
“I'm proud of our effort but I told our team we left some things out there today,” La Rocque said. “We have to know they are going to bring it tomorrow though, it's a quick turnaround so we have to be ready.”