Despite a grueling battle, the CSU women’s basketball team fell to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Rebels by a score of 67-62, dropping them to 7-8 for the season and 1-3 in the Mountain West Conference.
“I thought we really put up a fight tonight. We put out a tremendous effort and with a four-point lag in the second half, the lesson we learned was that it takes the full 40 minutes to win a basketball game,” head coach Jenn Warden said.
For the first time in the season, CSU started sophomore Casie Sheperd in place of Molly Nohr, who came into the game later despite a slight elbow injury.
With both teams fighting back and forth for the lead, the Rams ended the first half with a four-point advantage after sophomore guard Sarah Hunter hit a 3-point shot with two minutes left in the half.
Senior forward/center Melissa Dennett hit her career mark of 1,000 points, ending the effort with a game high of 28 points and nine rebounds.
“Melissa Dennett came out tonight and had a tremendous performance. Both her and Casie Sheperd really contributed to the game,” Warden said.
The Rebels were lead by starting guard Sheena Moore who finished the game with a team high of 26 points, shooting 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Center Faye Muller and guard Sequoia Holmes also ended the game in double digits.
“Moore can shoot the three and she can dribble,” said senior guard Vanessa Espinoza. “She knows how to take the big shots and she takes them.
Espinoza contributed eight points in her teams losing effort. Despite the loss, she was confident in the way the team played.
“We played really hard tonight. Even though we lost, we’ve got to get over it and prepare for our next game,” she said.
The Rams, as a team, shot 87 percent from the free throw line, including Lindsay Thomas and Nohr, who both shot 2-for2. Dennett ended the game 10-for-12 from the foul line.
“We’ve got to look at this game in a positive sense. We came back when we were behind and got tough,” Dennett said.
The Rams were trailing by 11 points in the second half and brought it to within two with one minute to go in the contest. After two fouls, the Rebels made three free throws sealing the win.
“Just like after every game and practice, we finished this day a better team,” Warden said. “When the day is done, that’s what really matters.”