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Hometown Trio Of Booker, Young, And Ethridge Leads UNLV Over UNR

todayJanuary 26, 2022 22 1

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By Donette Coleman

The UNLV Lady Rebels are off to their best start since 2003, and is one of the hottest teams currently in the Mountain West Conference. With a record of 15-4 overall and 7-1 in conference play, UNLV is a half game behind top seed New Mexico.

UNLV took over bragging rights, and extended their winning streak to five games by defeating their in-state rivals UNR 78-75.

Both teams came out in attack mode playing to an even score of 19 after the first quarter. To open the second quarter, UNR was able to capitalize on six three-pointers and 50% shooting to take a 41-37 half-time lead.

Desi-Rae Young powered UNLV early by scoring 17 of her game-high 19 points in the first half.

The Wolfpack fiercly began the third quarter on a 13-5 run, forcing UNLV to take a time out to regroup. UNLV’s defense changed to a full-court press, which effectively shifted the momentum to them.

To end the third quarter, Essence Booker hit four free-throws and Justice Ethridge drained a three-pointer to cut UNR’s lead to 61-56. Booker and Ethridge carried UNLV in the second half combining for 16 points in the third quarter.

“Justice played great defense all night and then just exploded on offense in the second half”, UNLV Head Coach Lindy LaRocque said of Justice Ethridge.

Ethridge scored the next eight points to help UNLV tie the score at 63 with 6:41 remaining. Freshman Kiara Jackson scored five straight points to give UNLV a three point lead, followed by fast-break lay-ups from Ethridge and Nneka Obiazor to help seal the win for the Lady Rebels.

“I’m proud of our toughness,” UNLV Head Coach Lindy LaRocque said. “We stuck with the game plan and, even though I didn’t think we played all that well on defense for three quarters, we did enough to keep ourselves in it.”

Essence Booker finished with 17 points in her returned to UNR, where she played two seasons before transferring. Justice Ethridge added 16 points and Nneka Obiazor tallied 13 points and six rebounds for UNLV.

Amaya West and Kylie Jimenez led the Wolfpack with 13 points apiece.

Second year player Desi-Rae Young, was name the Mountain West Conference Player of The Week for the third time this season after averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lady Rebels will attempt to end New Mexico’s (17-4 overall, 8-0 conference) nine game winning streak Thursday January 27th, when they host New Mexico at 6:30pm inside the Cox Pavilion.

Written by: Ray Fletcher

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