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UNLV torched by Loville, Boise State, lose by 26 on Senior Day

The UNLV Lady Rebels lost its most recent Mountain West matchup against the Boise State Broncos that could prove costly later in the season.

UNLV fell to Boise State, 85-59 Wednesday, Feb. 10 from the Cox Pavilion on Senior Day.

“We would’ve liked to have had a better performance to honor our senior Bailey [Thomas],” head coach Lindy La Rocque said. “It got going all the wrong direction pretty much right away.”

Both teams were on opposite sides of the spectrum coming into the first meeting of the season.

The Lady Rebels were winners of five of their last six while the Broncos were on the losing end of five of their last six.

UNLV one more game against Boise State before heading out on the road for four straight road games to end the season.

“The good-bad thing is we have to play them in what, 24 hours and seven minutes,” La Rocque said. “Probably the good thing for me as a coach is you can’t wallow in it, [the players] can’t wallow in it.”

Game two tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

UNLV is now 10-8 on the year and 8-5 in the Mountain West conference.

All eight of the team's losses this season have come at home while sporting a 5-0 record away from Vegas.

“I don’t know, maybe coming back from the road— the travel,” La Rocque said. “Our last few practices they’ve kind of felt like light just because we felt like we played a lot of games and we wanted to try to save our legs for the games.

“Which it didn’t look like we had many legs this game so maybe that was a wrong approach.”

Coming into the game, the Lady Rebels were in the fourth spot in the conference, two games in the win column away from the first-place Colorado State Rams.

They’re still in fourth place but now need significant help in the form of upsets from either the Air Force or in-state rival Nevada – Reno.

Perhaps both.

Boise State guard Jade Loville was in a groove from the beginning opening the game 4-for-4 before ending up with a new career-high in points.

“She’s a phenomenally talented player,” La Rocque said. “She is what I guess I would deem a ‘streaky shooter.’ She’s capable of going 20-for-28 or 1-for-28 to be honest.

“She definitely kind of took over the game and I don’t know if our young team got caught off guard or amazed, I don’t know because she was hitting such tough shots. Maybe they were in awe just like everyone else.”

She finished with 40 points on 19-of-28 shooting.

At halftime, the Broncos went into the locker room with a 45-23 lead over the Lady Rebels.

Loville had 24 points alone.

By the end of the third quarter, she was up to 36 points on 17-of-25 shooting.

At that point, UNLV was 13-of-50 from the field.

“It’s not about them, it’s about us,” La Rocque said. “I’m pretty disappointed in our effort, our execution, our concentration. It just — mentally physically, we were not there.”

Once the avalanche began in the opening quarter, the Lady Rebels could never get from behind the proverbial 8-ball.

The Broncos built a lead as large as 14 in the first quarter before extending it to 24 by halftime and 32 by the third.

The lead would grow to as large as 33 points in the final quarter.

Early in the second quarter, UNLV forced a couple of early turnovers but couldn’t turn them into points on the other end.

“We looked for lack of a better term, scared at the beginning,” La Rocque said. “We were playing hard defensively and then we get on offense and maybe we’re intimidated by their size.

“Then we shoot two pull-ups off of steals off of a press. […] Go attack the basket, I don’t care — miss a layup, get fouled, get both but settling for a jump shot I think was more of a bigger picture of our mindset offensively of being too timid and maybe intimidated.”

The third quarter posed some different issues for the Lady Rebels as they committed five of their 13 total turnovers.

“They didn’t do it on purpose, these kids aren’t trying to miss layups, trying to do these things but the message at halftime was really regroup,” La Rocque said. “So frankly, I got them out on the court earlier just to get some shot up because we all felt the first half, it wasn’t great.”

Junior guard Nia Johnson led all Lady Rebel players with 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

She was the only player to reach double-figures for UNLV.

UNLV was dominated in every other aspect of the game being outrebounded, 52-33, and out-assisted, 25-12.

Lone senior Bailey Thomas was honored after the game on the team’s Senior Day.

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