Boise State downs UNLV 76-63 at the Duel in the Desert, Faces #13 Purdue in championship game Thursday night...

LAS VEGAS, Nevada - (12/20/06) - The Boise State women’s basketball team defeated the UNLV Lady Rebels Wednesday night 76-63 in first day action at the "Duel In The Desert" in the Cox Pavilion at UNLV. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris scored 21 points to lead the Broncos to their first win over a Mountain West school in two years. The victory advances Boise State into Thursday’s championship game against 13th ranked Purdue (10-2) at 7:30 p.m. (pacific). The Boilermakers downed Texas-San Antonio 75-50 in the first game Wednesday night.

The game was evenly played throughout the first half which saw five ties and five lead changes. Boise State jumped out to an early seven-point lead, 16-9, on a Jackie Lee three-pointer four and half minutes into the game.

Then watched as Sequoia Holmes lit up the scoreboard for UNLV with 18 first half points. She helped the Lady Rebels rally from the seven-point deficit to claim a five point advantage with 3:46 left in the opening period. The Broncos responded with a 8-3 run to end the half which gave Boise State the lead for good and a 39-37 lead at intermission.

Boise State never trailed in the second half slowly extending their lead only to see the Rebels rally. The Broncos jumped out to a quick nine-point advantage, 48-39, two minutes into the last period topped by a Tasha Harris three-pointer. The two teams then traded baskets and short runs for most of the next 15 minutes as Boise State’s lead stayed between seven and three-points.

The Broncos made their final push late in the game taking a 10-point lead, 68-58, with two and half minutes left. Boise State’s last field goal came on a Nadia Begay three-pointer from the rightside with 2:26 to play to give the Broncos the 10-point, 68-58, lead.

UNLV resorted to fouling the Broncos down the stretch in an attempt to give themselves time to pull closer. However, the Broncos responded by hitting 8-of-11 free throws in the final minute and a half. Harris hit five-of-seven from the charity stripe, Jessica Thompson hit a pair while Michelle Hessing hit one-of-two with nine second left to ice the game.

On the night, Boise State shot 41 percent (25-61) from the floor, 33.3 percent (4-12) from three-point range, and 71 percent (22-31) from the foul line. UNLV shot 37.5 percent (21-56) from the hardwood, 33.3 percent (5-15) from behind the arc, and struggled from the free throw line hitting 53.3 percent (16-30). On the boards, UNLV edge the Broncos 44-to-40 but the Broncos had an 13-to-11 advantage in second chance points. Once again Boise State protected the ball well turning it over only 13 times compared to UNLV’s 19, giving the Broncos a 17-to-8 edge in points off turnovers.

Sophomore Tasha Harris had a season high 21 points to go with five rebounds and two assists. Harris also went 10-of-14 from the free throw line. Senior Michelle Hessing was second in scoring with 15 points, in addition to five boards, two assists, and tying her career high for blocked shots with four. Following those two where Jessica Thompson with 12 points, Nadia Begay with nine, Jackie Lee added seven, while Jenna Galassi scored six big points in the closing minutes of the first half to help Boise State gain the lead.

On the boards junior Amanda Stewart recorded a career high nine rebounds to lead the Broncos, while Harris, Hessing, and Rebecca Kepilino added five each.

UNLV was led by Sequoia Holmes who fouled out with 26 points, five rebounds, and one assist in 37 minutes of action. No other Rebel was in double-figure points. Shamela Hampton was second with eight followed by Faye Muller and Kisha Lee with six points each. Muller led UNLV on the glass with 13 boards.

The win improves the Broncos to 8-3 overall while UNLV drops to 4-5. The Broncos, who are off to their best start in 13 seasons, have a date with #13 Purdue tomorrow in the championship game before taking a short break for Christmas.

Newspaper Box Score
Boise State vs UNLV
12/20/06 7:30 PM at Las Vegas, Nev. (Cox Pavilion)


Harris, Tasha 5-9 10-14 21; Hessing, Michelle 6-7 3-6 15; Thompson, Jessica
4-14 4-4 12; Begay, Nadia 3-8 1-1 9; Lee, Jackie 3-5 0-0 7; Galassi, Jenna
2-6 2-2 6; Stewart, Amanda 1-2 1-2 3; Thompson, Jackie 1-2 0-0 2; Reyes,
Bridgette 0-2 1-2 1; Kepilino, Rebecca 0-6 0-0 0; Walker, Ja'Lara 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 25-61 22-31 76.

UNLV (4-5)
HOLMES, Sequoia 9-14 5-11 26; HAMPTON, Shamela 3-4 2-5 8; LEE, Kisha 3-7 0-0
7; MULLER, Faye 2-7 3-6 7; SIMMONS, Kameca 1-6 4-6 6; HALBERG, Brittany 2-7
0-0 5; PACE, Latosha 1-9 2-2 4; KOEVEN, Kim 0-2 0-0 0; HOLIDAY, Allison 0-0
0-0 0. Totals 21-56 16-30 63.

Boise State...................   39   37  -   76
UNLV..........................   37   26  -   63

3-point goals--Boise State 4-12 (Begay, Nadia 2-5; Lee, Jackie 1-3; Harris,
Tasha 1-2; Reyes, Bridgette 0-1; Thompson, Jessica 0-1), UNLV 5-15 (HOLMES,
Sequoia 3-6; LEE, Kisha 1-2; HALBERG, Brittany 1-2; PACE, Latosha 0-3;
KOEVEN, Kim 0-2). Fouled out--Boise State-None, UNLV-HAMPTON, Shamela;
HOLMES, Sequoia. Rebounds--Boise State 40 (Stewart, Amanda 9), UNLV 44
(MULLER, Faye 13). Assists--Boise State 14 (Begay, Nadia 2; Hessing,
Michelle 2; Harris, Tasha 2; Thompson, Jackie 2; Thompson, Jessica 2), UNLV
11 (HALBERG, Brittany 4). Total fouls--Boise State 27, UNLV 25. Technical
fouls--Boise State-None, UNLV-None.

Duel In The Desert Game Two


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