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UNLV waxes Air Force again, move to 51-5 all-time in meetings

An on-court visual representation of the all-time series between UNLV and Air Force is what fans inside the Thomas & Mack Center were treated to in part one of a doubleheader Saturday, Feb. 17.


The Lady Rebels thumped the Falcons, 95-68, for a 23rd straight win over their Mountain West foe. In 56 meetings, UNLV has claimed 51 of the outings while never falling on its home floor.


Current head coach Lindy La Rocque has never lost to the Air Force program.


“I didn’t even know those numbers,” La Rocque said. “I don’t even think about those numbers, all I know is that they’re really disciplined. Whenever you play the Academy, they live and breathe it every day.”


In total, this year’s Lady Rebs are 22-2 and are currently riding a seven-game win streak. As a result, the team continues to lead the Mountain West standings after entering the year as back-to-back conference champions, regular season and tournament.


UNLV may be headed into another meeting of top two Mountain West teams Wednesday, Feb. 21 when it concludes its regular season series with Wyoming. That matchup with the Cowgirls is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.


“I think we have to continue to do what we do,” junior guard Kiara Jackson said. “Do the little things, continue to play hard and just focus on us.”


Twenty-two of the first 24 points scored by the Lady Rebels in the first quarter came inside the paint with the other two coming at the free throw line. In that opening frame, the lead grew to as many as 12 points in a game that the Falcons never led.


“I think it’s just our style of play versus their defensive style,” La Rocque said. “So it was like, ‘Drive it to the basket.’ And we kept doing it so it was working.”


Overall, 34 of the first 38 points were scored inside the key by UNLV with the team’s first field goal outside the paint coming with just under three and a half minutes left in the first half. About two minutes later, the team drilled its first three-pointer of the night.


“If anything, that’s really great for us moving forward,” La Rocque said. “We shot a lot of threes in our last two games but it's about attacking the paint for us.”


The defense was staunch as well for La Rocque’s Lady Rebels holding Air Force without a point for more than half of the second quarter. UNLV would eventually lead by as many as 31 points in the game.


Senior center Desi-Rae Young led all scorers with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field to go along with nine rebounds. Finishing one rebound shy of a double-double ends her consecutive streak at three straight outings.


Jackson had another solid game with 14 points and eight of the team’s 16 assists on the night. She is now averaging 16 points over her last three games against the Falcons.


“Honestly, I like when people pressure me because I feel like it's easier to get to the basket,” Jackson said. “No one is in help [defense] because they’re all pressuring so it's easier to score.”


Eleven players in total scored for UNLV with four reaching double-figures including sophomore Jasmyn Lott with 12 and senior forward Nneka Obiazor with 10.


“I thought we played well – everyone from start to finish,” La Rocque said. “We know we have great talent. I’m happy when they put it [to use] against someone else because we see it everyday in practice.”

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