The UNLV Lady Rebels lost a close game against the Wyoming Cowgirls 67-62 on Monday, Dec.14 at the Cox Pavilion.
"This isn't the outcome that we wanted. Like we said on Saturday, Wyoming's a very good, very well-coached team and we knew [it] was going to bring extra effort today,” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “This hurts for our team, which I think is a good thing because it shows this group of girls really cares.”
UNLV will host the Duel in the Desert at the Thomas & Mack Center Dec. 19-21.
The team’s first opponent will be Pacific on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3:30 pm. The opponent following that game will be Loyola Marymount on Monday, Dec. 21 at 1 pm.
The Lady Rebels were unable to close out the Cowgirls in a back-and-forth game that had 14 lead changes from start-to-finish.
UNLV may have more problems to fix than just turnovers as it has been unable to close out teams in the second half along with players playing heavy minutes and scoring under 10 points a game.
“We had a lot of good things to take away, had some good post play but had a little bit of a scoring lull there in the third quarter. It kind of felt like once the momentum turned [Wyoming’s] way, we really had a hard time combating it,” La Rocque said. “They hit some timely shots and threes down the stretch and we just weren't able to weather that storm and go on our own run.
“I thought our effort was good in spurts. It felt a little bit like a roller coaster ride there in the second half. But we're going to use this experience to learn and grow so that we can be better in the next game."
The Lady Rebels recorded 13 turnovers, shooting 41 percent from the field and 22 percent from three-point range.
They out-rebound the Cowgirls ,40-29, continuing to dominate the paint against their opponents with 34 points in the paint.
Three of the teams’ starters combined to play huge minutes but recorded 13 points, four steals and 16 assists as a unit.
Redshirt senior guard Bailey Thomas played 35 minutes and went scoreless with five rebounds, three assists and one steal.
This time around the Lady Rebels seemed fatigued as they had difficulties stopping the Cowgirls and allowed them to go on a 14-6 run that shifted the direction of the game.
UNLV committed fouls late in the fourth quarter, allowing the Cowgirls to extend their lead.
Freshman forward Desi-Rae Young kept UNLV close, recording 20 points, scoring 10 of her points in the fourth quarter.
Junior guard Nia Johnson also joined Young in the fourth quarter comeback effort, scoring nine of her 12 points late in the game.
The duo combined for 19 points out of 22 of the team's points in the fourth quarter.
UNLV now moves to 2-3 on the season and 1-1 in the Mountain West Conference play.