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UNLV falls short in a double-overtime thriller

The UNLV Lady Rebels lost to Pacific, 77-75, in a Duel in the Desert Tournament game on Sunday, Dec. 20.


UNLV now sits at 2-4 in the regular season and 1-1 in the Mountain West locked into a three-way tie.


The Lady Rebels are tied with Fresno State and Wyoming for second place in the conference.


UNLV will close out the Duel in the Desert contest against Loyola Marymount Monday, Dec. 21.


Prior to the game the Lady Rebels held a 21-8 record against the long time rival Pacific Tigers.


“Hard fought game tonight. Pacific is a very well coached team, they played really hard,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “I think our team played hard, I didn't question our effort but I think our execution at certain points could have been better.”


The Lady Rebels were in a back-and-forth contest with the Tigers as they were almost closed out with a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.


UNLV locked-in and was able to win the last quarter of regulation by 10 points, sending the game into overtime.


The Lady Rebels began the overtime period on fire but the Tigers refused to go home forcing a second overtime.


Eventually with just a few seconds left, Pacific made the game-winning basket.


UNLV had a chance at redemption but the basket was made at the end of the buzzer.


“We had a good start, then they went on a run and we made our own run in the fourth quarter,” La Rocque said. “Defensively, it didn't feel like we were very good, we let two of their players get 24 and 21 points [and] that really hurt us. It's a game -- I would love to dissect the film, get a lot of teaching moments from [it], except we can't do it because we've got a game in 18 hours.”


The team is built young and has a long way of gaining experience and an overtime thriller is a great way to start.


La Rocque is starting the young team off the correct way, learning from the previous games, breaking down film, putting them in tough in-game scenarios.

“The good and bad is we would have loved to win that game, those late game situations are great for our team to go through early in the season, so hopefully we can draw on that later in the season,” La Rocque said.


However, at this point UNLV does not have a clear focal point player for the offense.


Freshman forward Desi-Rae Young is usually the focal point player, however, she picked up her fifth foul and the team had to rely on redshirt sophomore Delaynie Bryne.


Bryne recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds, giving her two double-doubles on the season.


Junior guard Nia Johnson joined Bryne recording her first career double-double with a career-high of 19 points and 12 rebounds.


“We have to quickly turn the page because we have another one tomorrow against a good team that is from the same conference and will do a lot of the same things and we played an extra quarter,” La Rocque said. “But we have no excuses for that, we just have to be 1 percent better.”


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