TheUNLV Lady Rebels suffered a heart-crushing loss to No. 2-ranked Stanford 101-54 on Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“Well, I definitely know their playbook like the back of my hand, and unfortunately because I had some of the same sets, they knew exactly our whole playbook too,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “Preparation is one of [Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer’s] biggest keys and so I expected that. I think, honestly, it probably caught our team a little off guard, but that's part of the game. I think we could have put forth a better effort, to be honest. But they're by far the number one team in the country, and you're going to see that in the next rankings."
UNLV was able to add Stanford to the schedule when both programs came to a mutual agreement.
Both the Lady Rebels and the Cardinals originally scheduled games were canceled due to COVID-19 in their opponent’s programs.
UNLV had not played a top-two ranked team in 35 years, making La Rocque former’s team the perfect fit for an opponent despite losing by 47 points.
UNLV will be back in the Cox Pavilion against their Mountain West opponent Wyoming in a back-to-back series.
The first match up will be on Saturday, Dec 12. While the next one will be on Monday, Dec 14 both games are set for 1:30 pm start times.
UNLV showed frustration early in the game committing turnovers and fouls led to the huge lead for the Cardinals.
The Lady Rebels offense was in shambles committing 19 turnovers including handing over 14 steals, getting blocked 10 times along the way.
UNLV shot a season-low 27 percent from the field to go along with 33 percent from three point range.
Every missed shot and missed layup, took a toll on the Lady Rebels forcing them to have a hard time getting back on defense.
When set, their defense was no match for the Cardinals as they shot 57 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep.
Usually, UNLV out-rebounds it’s opponents but not this time, Stanford crashed the glass, winning the rebound battle, 46-31.
Despite the struggles in the game against Stanford, junior and redshirt senior guards Nia Johnson and Bailey Thomas along with freshman forward Desi-Rae Young showed signs of resiliency.
Johnson recorded 12 points and five rebounds, Thomas added 10 points and Young added 10 points of her own to go along with four rebounds.
Typically, Thomas creates havoc on the defensive end for the Lady Rebels but was only able to come away with one steal during her 36 minutes of game action.
With La Rocque being a former Stanford player, she was able to run some familiar sets and schemes.
That might have not been the brightest idea against Stanford who held UNLV to 14 made field goals in the game.