Rally Comes Up Short in Las Vegas
March 9, 2016

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LAS VEGAS, Nev.  - Boise State's rally attempt from 16 points down came up short as UNLV held off the Broncos 71-65 in the Mountain West Women's Basketball championship quarterfinals Tuesday night in Las Vegas.  The loss ends Boise State's season, baring an invite from the WNIT, at 19-11 overall.

Trailing 58-42 with 8:42 to play, Boise State rallied closing to within one at 63-62 with 2:18 on the clock. That was as close as the Blue and Orange could get as the Lady Rebels answered with a 9-0 run to close the game.

"Congratulations to UNLV, they were the aggressor and took it right to us in the beginning," said coach Gordy Presnell. "I was concerned in the beginning,  they were a very good rebounding team and they kind of took it to us that first quarter rebounding. And then I think we kind of settled in. But just struggled. The rim kind of shrunk on us, and really struggled shooting. And that's one of our strengths. So like I said, congratulations to them, they did a nice job and obviously they get to advance."

Shalen Shaw led four Broncos in double-figure points scoring a team-high 17 to go with six rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals in 39 minutes.

Brooke Pahukoa scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half to keep the Broncos close. She added a team-high seven rebounds and a team-best and career-tying six assists with two steals.

"... We fought hard to come back, and that's what we're going to take from this game," Brooke Pahukoa said. "If we would have matched their physicality a little earlier we might have been able to pull out a win, and that hurts a little bit. My freshman year we lost our first game here, my sophomore year we came back and won it. This year we lost our first game, so I'm coming back hungry next year and hopefully it turns out differently."

Marta Hermida finished the night with 14 points powered by three 3-pointers. The freshman from Spain added six rebounds and two steals.

Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego hit four 3-pointers on her way to 12 points. The junior point guard added three rebounds and team-high nine assists, just missing her second double-double of the year.

The Broncos trailed most of the night down 15-13 after one and 36-30 at halftime. A series of runs in the second half kept the Lady Rebels in front every time Boise State made a run. They opened the third on a 10-4 run, then after the Broncos pulled to within one late in the fourth UNLV responded on a 9-0 run to close it out.  

Boise State struggled shooting the ball most of the night hitting 35 percent (25-71) from the floor, 24 percent (10-42) from the arc and went to the free-throw line six times making five for 83 percent.

UNLV dominated the glass in the first half 27-to-15, but the Broncos did better in the second to finish the contest down 45-to-37 in rebounds. Turnovers were also a key factor against Boise State as the Broncos committed the same amount as the Lady Rebels with 14, but UNLV turned it into a big 24-to-7 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Lady Rebels finished the night shooting 41 percent (25-61) from the floor, 39 percent (5-13) from 3-point range and 76 percent (16-21) from the free-throw line.

Five UNLV players reached double-figure points led by Brooke Johnson with a double-double on teams highs for points with 17 and 10 rebounds. She was followed by Dylan Gonzalez with 14 points, Dakota Gonzalez with 12, Aley Rohde with11 and Nikki Wheatly with 10.


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