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Lady Rebels hit century mark against Oral Roberts, improve to 2-0

It has been a successful opening week for the UNLV Lady Rebels.

They opened their season on Monday, Nov. 7 with an 81-58 win over Pepperdine and followed it up with a 100-84 win over Oral Roberts Friday, Nov. 11.

Friday marked the return of head coach Lindy La Rocque, who was back on the sidelines for the first time since giving birth to her newborn daughter just over a week ago.

“I feel good, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” La Rocque said. “I was at practice yesterday and I felt like it went well. I was strong enough and ready to be here today, so I was and I’m glad I was.”

UNLV is now 2-0 to start the season and will be back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Cox Pavilion as it welcomes Utah Valley into town. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.

During early stages of this game, Oral Roberts made it a point-of-emphasis to establish a presence in the paint on offense. That point-of-emphasis was led by senior guard Hannah Cooper who had 39 points.

“We struggled a bit defensively, a bit uncharacteristically,” La Rocque said. “Our guards are much better defenders than what they showed today. [The Golden Eagles] got hot and then it’s really hard to cool someone down.”

The physical play from Oral Roberts seemed to be something that UNLV was prepared for going into this one.

“They have some good post players that they try to utilize,” sophomore forward Alyssa Brown said. “We kind of focused on that in our scout as far as getting them off the block and rebounding. It was a challenge but we ended up on top.”

Brown scored a career-high 15 points on 5-of-6 from the field to go along with eight rebounds off-the-bench. She managed this stat line in just 15 minutes on-the-floor.

“Whether I would be starting or coming off the bench, my goal was to make a bigger impact and help my team anyway possible,” Brown said.

Even with some of the struggles defensively on Friday, the Lady Rebels still outscored its opponent in each of the four quarters for the second straight game this season.

UNLV got a boost of offense from their frontcourt as junior forward Nneka Obiazor led the way with a career-high 27 points and six rebounds. She also sniffed out five steals, which was also a career-high.

“Coming in, I just needed to look for the shots that they were giving me,” Obiazor said. “I knew coming in that they were going to sag off of me coming from last year where I didn’t shoot any threes. So I knew my three was going to be open so just ready to take that shot and then the momentum just came from bringing it down to the post and finishing,”

Junior center Desi-Rae Young finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds,Essence Booker had 14 points.

UNLV was able to find success on the offensive side of the ball as they finished the game shooting 53 percent from the field which includes shooting 41 percent from three-point range as a team.

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