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Lady Rebels stay perfect, advance to winner’s bracket of Thanksgiving tourney

Five days off may have cooled off the UNLV Lady Rebels’ offense but the team’s defense was well intact as it continued its perfect stretch to start the new year.


UNLV stymied UC Santa Barbara, 68-49, Friday, Nov. 24 from The Dana on Mission Bay Thanksgiving Tournament on the campus of the University of San Diego. For the last two seasons, the Lady Rebels have hosted the UNLV Thanksgiving Classic.


With the win, the program will advance into the winner’s bracket to take on the hosting Toreros Saturday, Nov. 25 with tip-off slated for 4 p.m. Earlier in the day, San Diego beat Weber State to punch their spot in the finals.


UNLV will look to improve to 6-0 to start the new campaign with a win in that one to secure another regular season tournament title.


A low-scoring yet defensively stout third quarter not only changed the momentum of the game but ultimately sealed the eventual outcome. The Lady Rebels held the Gauchos to just seven points in the third quarter while only putting up 13 of their own on the other end.


Just before halftime, UC Santa Barbara won the second quarter by two points to head into the locker room at halftime down 11.


In the third quarter, the Gauchos didn’t record its second field goal make until well past the halfway mark of the frame as the team missed on 13 of its first 14 field goal attempts. The Lady Rebels held their opponent to just 19% shooting in the third quarter on the way to a 33%-mark for the game, this includes a 16% finish from three-point range.


That second half scoreless stretch for UCSB wasn’t the first of its kind as the team needed nearly two and a half minutes to post its first points of the game and almost four minutes to record its first field goal.


While tightening up its defense along the way, UNLV used a 7-0 run in the middle of the third quarter to build an 18-point lead which was the largest up to that point. Before the final buzzer, the team would go up by as many as 22 points. Coming into play, the Lady Rebs had beaten their four opponents this season by an average of 33 points per outing.


Senior center Desi-Rae Young fouled out early in the fourth quarter of the team’s fifth straight win. As a result, she only logged 27 minutes on the way to 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting to go along with six rebounds.


By failing to record a double-double, it marks the first time this season that Young has not posted at least 10 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, UNLV still won the rebounding battle by 10.


Junior guard Alyssa Durazo-Frescas was on fire early, hitting two threes in the first two-plus minutes of the game as the Lady Rebels opened the game, 10-0. She’d end up making three first quarter trey balls en route to a 15-point outing that led her team in scoring.


Durazo-Frescas scored all 15 of her points on five made threes and accounted for all the makes from deep for UNLV. In three of the five games played this season, she has had all of her makes come from three-point range.

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