Las Vegas, NV—The last few weeks the Lady Rebels have been playing great team basketball and finding ways to close out teams down the stretch.
The Lady Rebels (23-2 overall, 13-0 Mountain West) held off Fresno State (8-18, 1-12) 64-63 to extend its winning streak to 14 games at Cox Pavilion in front an announced crowd of 1,678. UNLV are now one win away from claiming a share of the Mountain West Championship for the second straight season.
Alyssa Durazo-Frescas drained a deep jumper from the left corner with 12.7 seconds in the game to seal the contest for UNLV.
Desi-Rae Young poured in a game-high 22 points and carried the Lady Rebels on her back for the win. But it was her assist to Durazo-Frescas that was the winner.
Young was almost perfect on the hardwood. She hit 8-of-10 from the field and 6-of-7 at the charity stripe line to go along with seven boards, three assists, and three swipes.
“I knew she had it,” Young said. “She’s one of the best shooters I’ve ever played with.
“I knew Fresno State was going to double-team me and leave her, so I knew I had to make the extra pass. Essence Booker made the right pass and that was her ‘hockey assist’ as well.”
Fresno State shot 91.7 percent from the charity stripe line (11-of-12). It was tied for the second-highest mark of the year, and just the fourth time the ‘Dogs have been over 90 percent.
Fresno State led 32-31 going into the locker room. It was the only fifth time this season the Lady Rebels trailed at the half. Neither team had more than a 3-point lead for the final 28 minutes of the contest as the lead changed 23 times.
Knotted at 59 with 56 seconds in the game following a pair a free throws at the line from Young, Todorova drove and gave the ‘Dogs a two-point lead a few seconds later.
On their next possession, the Lady Rebels missed a jumper in the lane but were able to grabbed the offensive board. Following a timeout, an inbound pass to Young was dished to Durazo-Frescas in the left corner that put the Rebels ahead.
The Bulldogs was unable to get a shot off in the final seconds as the ball was knocked out of Amaya West’s hands while driving to the basket.
Keely Brown scored a career-high 19 points off the bench for Fresno State. Yanina Todorova scored 13 and West finished with 11.
“They had six losses by 6 points or less, they are better than their record, UNLV head coach Lindy La Rocque said. It’s that part of the season where some teams are playing with reckless abandon. We got the critical stops when we really needed them and our team finds a way to win.”
Kiara Jackson chipped in 9 points for UNLV. Durazo-Frescas scored 8 and Alyssa Brown had 7 ponts.
The Bulldogs outrebounded UNLV 32-29, just the third time this season that the Lady Rebels have been outrebounded.
Fresno State returns home to face second-place Colorado State on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT and air on CW59 and the Mountain West Network. During halftime, Fresno State will honor Bulldog great Yvette Roberts by retiring the three-time All-American’s jersey.
UNLV will travel to Idaho on Saturday, Feb 11th to play Boise State for a 4:00 P.M. start time.