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Lady Rebels earn spot in final of Thanksgiving Tourney

The UNLV Lady Rebels improved to 6-0 on the new year with a 73-63 win over the George Washington Colonials in the semifinals of the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament.

“They’re a good team,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “They’re a really good team that is well coached.”

George Washington was able to hang around in this one due to their shooting from three-point range. The Colonials shot 42 percent from three for the game.

“We knew that they got hot in our gym yesterday,” La Rocque said. “We would love for that not to happen but I think that’s what happens when you’re in a tournament. In the first half, we gave them a little too many open ones and then in the second half, we challenged our team to cut it down. Allowing six in the first half and only two in the second half is a good job of that.”

The fourth quarter was the money quarter for the Lady Rebels who outscored George Washington 19-11 led by junior forward Desi-Rae Young who finished the game with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Young was aided by fellow junior forward Nneka Obiazor, who finished the afternoon with 18 points and 6 rebounds.

This was Young’s third double-double of the season and 20th of her career.

“For my play, it is all about the rebounding,” Young said. “I’m not worried about scoring. I’m more worried about the things I can control and sometimes that’s not scoring. Sometimes, it’s boxing out or diving for a loose ball. I feel like as a team, we were more connected than any game we’ve played so far.”

UNLV will play in the championship game of the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament on Sunday against the winner of Louisiana Tech/Illinois State. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. and will take place in the Cox Pavilion.

“It felt good to have to compete a little harder,” Obiazor said. “We had to dig deep, do our plays right, and just execute.”

One Lady Rebel that got some late-game minutes is freshman newcomer Jasmyn Lott who grabbed a massive offensive rebound, took that rebound, and sunk the game-sealing jumper. Lott finished the game with three points and two rebounds. Lott is coming off her first game in double-figure scoring yesterday.

“When she’s on the court she’s Jas-myn,” Young said. “In practice, she’s Jas but in the game, she’s Jasmyn.”

Lott played 13 minutes in this one including the final 8:16 of the game.

“Defensively, she’s just really solid,” La Rocque said. “Late in the game, she was in there for her defense because we know we can rely on that. How awesome is it for a freshman to get some late game minutes like that in a tight game and to get that experience. That offensive rebound and bucket were huge but she knew that she was in there for her defense and she did the job.”

George Washington had the three-point shot flying early and often in this one as they were able to hit on 54 percent of their three-point attempts in the first half.

UNLV was led by Young in the opening 20 minutes of play. She finished the first half with 10 points and five rebounds.

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