UNLV’s Thomas scores career-high in crucial win over Colorado State
Guard Bailey Thomas went off for a career-best 29 points for the UNLV Lady Rebels as her breakout game led the team to a crucial win against fellow Mountain West Conference rival Colorado State Rams, 80-76.
After a sluggish first half, UNLV broke the third quarter open, building a double-digit lead.
Colorado State answered with a 13-1 run to tie the game at 44 a piece late in the quarter.
In the final quarter, both teams exchanged timely baskets on nearly every possession as it came down to a defensive effort by the Lady Rebels, up three with 30 seconds left, to seal victory.
Coming into the matchup, the Rams were ahead of the Lady Rebels in the conference standings. Now UNLV holds onto third place in the conference, dropping the Rams drop to fifth.
After coming off a 16-day hiatus, UNLV came out and made a statement against a conference rival.
Head coach Lindy La Rocque and her coaching staff showed an incredible amount of preparation, after the team was required to focus following two games being unexpectedly postponed.
The Lady Rebels are back in action Saturday Jan. 9, against Colorado State once more at the Cox Pavilion. Tip-off is at noon.
UNLV moves to 4-4 on the season and 2-1 in conference play following the victory.
Colorado State drops to 7-2 overall, but 3-2 in conference play.
The Ram’s Jamie Bonnarens beat her defender on a dribble-drive into the paint, who was anticipating a game-tying three-point attempt.
Bonnarens was met by freshman Desi-Rae Young of UNLV, who is quickly turning into a bright spot for UNLV.
Young’s textbook defense resulted in a contested layup which hit the board too hard, never meeting the rim on its way down.
Thomas, the team “veteran,” grabbed the important rebound and would go on to knock down a single free throw giving UNLV the two-possession lead and securing the win.
The Lady Rebels have the sixth-youngest roster in the nation.
The youth movement for the Lady Rebels starts with Young, who poured in 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Rebels patrolling the paint and providing interior defense all game long.