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Lady Rebels complete first undefeated MW regular season in program history with latest win

The season that keeps on giving gave the UNLV Lady Rebels something that the program hadn’t seen in nearly four decades.

Number 22 ranked UNLV put the finishing touches on an undefeated conference season after beating intra-state rival Nevada – Reno, 71-66. Last season, the Wolf Pack ended a 11-game home win streak for the Lady Rebels, beating them on Senior Night.

“It’s pretty great,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “Not losing a conference game is very special, it takes a special group of special people and a lot of people committing to doing the right thing all of the time.”

With the win, UNLV improves to 28-2 on the year and 18-0 in the Mountain West. Historically speaking, the program captures just its third undefeated conference season in program history while doing in the MW for the first time.

In addition, the team is the first to go undefeated in the Mountain West slate since the Colorado State Rams did it back in 2016. All the while, the Lady Rebels became the fourth MW team to ever accomplish the feat.

By doing so, La Rocque and company have already guaranteed the best overall record for the program since going 28-3 in 1989-90.

“I think it’s really special,” La Rocque said. “Obviously, we kind of know and we’ve figured out that we have a really special group. To be honest, going undefeated in our conference season wasn’t a goal that we really set, we just wanted to win the next game.”

It also goes down as the first undefeated conference season for the program since going 8-0 as a member of the Big West in 1985.

By beating UNR this time around, UNLV added to its season-long win streak, running it up to 19 straight victories. Next up, the team will turn its attention to the Mountain West Championships, in hopes of winning the tourney for a second straight year.

The MWC are set to begin Sunday, March 5 with the Lady Rebels set to make their first appearance Monday, March 6 at 12 p.m. from the Thomas & Mack Center.

“If anything, it’s just a precursor to what’s coming,” La Rocque said. “With these last two games in February and now we start March tomorrow. That’s what all of these games are going to feel like. Our last two games felt like tournament games and I’m glad they did.”

For the second consecutive game, UNLV found themselves down by double-digits, this time it came in the second half. UNR led by 10 points with 7:36 left in the third quarter.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Rebels trailed by seven points but La Rocque and company were still locked in on the outcome.

“There was never any doubt that we were going to do what we needed to do to win the game,” La Rocque said. “I wasn’t pleased with some of our performance at different parts of it but I think the last 10-14 minutes of the game we played really well.”

That persistence showed as the team rattled off a 7-0 run to open the final 10-minute frame to tie the game at 56 apiece. That run would be extended to 9-0 as UNLV regained the lead.

During that game-changing transition, the Lady Rebels held the Wolf Pack without a point for four minutes. In fact, the home team scored its first points of the fourth quarter at the 6:40-mark.

The commitment to rebounding proved to be the difference in the comeback effort for UNLV. Through the first 26 minutes of the game, UNR compiled 13 offensive rebounds before being limited to just two in the final 14 minutes.

“During the third quarter media timeout, I kind of lost my mind,” La Rocque said. “I think everyone in the arena could hear me. We had given up 14 offensive rebounds up until then. And over the last 14 minutes, we gave up one and they finished with 15.”

Junior center Desi-Rae Young didn’t score her first points of the game until the opening minute of the second quarter. Young finished with a game-high 20 points on 6-of-10 from the field to go along with eight rebounds.

“Desi is relentless,” La Rocque said. “She’s a warrior and she just wants to win probably more than anyone I’ve ever coached. She just kind of finds a way.”

Sophomore guard Alyssa Durazo-Frescas finished with 18 points on 50% shootin with four made three-pointers. Over the last nine games, Durazo-Frescas is shooting 43% from three (23-of-53).

“I thought Alyssa was great,” La Rocque said. “She hit some big time shots. Her free throws at the end were huge [...] We need everyone going into the tournament, we need everyone with some confidence about how they’re playing. But I know she’s feeling pretty after this game.”

Fellow sophomore Kiara Jackson added 11 points off-the-bench while sophomore Alyssa Brown’s 10 points rounded out UNLV’s field of double-digit scorers.


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