The UNLV Lady Rebels lost to UC Irvine for the first time since 1994-95 seasons; the final score in last night’s game was 57-55. Seniors Katie Powell and Nikki Wheatley sat the majority of the first half on the bench with two fouls. The Lady Rebels had the lead at halftime 26-25, thanks to a buzzer jumper by LaTecia Smith. It was a close game from beginning to end with a full court press. The Anteaters forced the Lady Rebels into 22 turnovers.
UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier says after the game, “We’re clearly not playing our best basketball right now. One of our strengths is getting to the free throw line and right now that’s hurting us because we’re not making our free throws. Defensively we were solid tonight, but offensively there were too many turnovers and too many missed free throws. We must keep improving.”
Guard LaTecia Smith was named Lady Rebel of the Game. This was her first every start in the Scarlet and Grey posting 11 points and four steals. This is the first 0-2 start for UNLV since the 2007-08 season. Powell led UNLV with 15 points, followed up with Jordyn Bell and Smith both with 11 points. UNLV held a 48-37 edge on the boards but was countered by the 22-13 turnover difference. The Lady Rebels shot over 40% in two of the first three quarters but made 2-of-13 in the final ten minutes to finish at 35.8%.
The Lady Rebels return home to face Gonzaga this Saturday at 3pm in the Cox Pavilion. The game will be streamed live on both Facebook and Stadium, which can be accessed through WatchStadium.com, Stadium mobile apps and over the counter connected devices as well as UNLVRebels.com.