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UNLV’s Thomas sisters potentially team’s new dynamic duo

The UNLV Lady Rebels dominate in their first win of the season on the road against Cal State Fullerton, 81-67, Wednesday, Dec. 2 in Titan Gym.

"We are very excited about this win. I just can't praise my team enough for playing their hearts out, head coach Lindy La Rocque said. Offensively and defensively. I think at the end of the game we would have liked to have a little bit of a stronger finish, in terms of executing better. But we did a lot of really good and positive things today.”

The last time these two met a year ago, the Titans defeated the Lady Rebels 64-58.

Both teams' rosters are entirely different now.

The Lady Rebels have a new head coach with younger players while the Titans have two players that did not play.

One is a transfer and the other opted out due to COVID-19.

Transition defense leading to offense was the Lady Rebels formula to victory. They used both their defensive edge and speed with a drop of their shot making ability.

Defensively the Lady Rebels collected 12 steals and pulled in 21 defensive rebounds while forcing 25 turnovers.

Even with the strong defensive effort, the Titans still shot 46 percent from the field including 40 percent from the three-point range.

Offensively, the Lady Rebels still have work to do as they had another game of double-digit turnovers, with 17 this time around.

However, the team was able to shoot 40 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line.

Both the Lady Rebels and the Titans were in foul trouble, however UNLV still held the advantage at the free throw line making 66 percent of their free throws compared to Fullerton’s 62 percent.

When they were unable to get transition points, La Rocque ran the offense through her guards.

The Thomas sisters, guards Bailey and Jade gave glimpses of a dynamic duo in just minutes. Although they are five years apart, the two continued to play on the same page.

Bailey played a career high 39 minutes tallying 26 points, four steals, two assists and three rebounds.

She also was dialed in from both the field and three-point range, going 8-for-8 from the field and 6-for-6 from long distance.

Jade, a freshman, also played a career high 37 minutes with 16 points, one steal, one assist and three rebounds. She shot 4-for-9 from the field and 4-for-8 from long range.

“My shoutout goes to Bailey (Thomas). Offensively, she had a perfect game and she was just on fire. Then defensively, she really led our team, picked up their point guard and was really disruptive,” La Rocque said. “But I think the thing I'm most proud of is her leadership, being vocal, instructing and leading her teammates on our good plays and when there were plays we could have done better. I'm super proud of her and it was a total team effort – off the bench, on the court – everyone really contributed to this.”

This was just pure dominance by the Lady Rebels giving their La Rocque her first collegiate win of a new era.

“So, it was a very memorable night for me, with the first win of my coaching career,” La Rocque said. “One that I will remember forever and I'm so excited that I can share it with this group of players, coaching staff, support staff and everyone here (at UNLV)."

UNLV will not play in their doubleheader this week due to someone testing positive for COVID-19 in the Utah Valley program.

The team was supposed to play Saturday, Dec. 5 against Utah Valley, however, it will have the option of rescheduling a new opponent or preparing for their in-conference game against Wyoming Saturday, Dec.12.


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