After a disappointing loss to San Diego State last Saturday, CSU womenâ€™s basketball bounced back Wednesday night to defeat UNLV 74-62.
The Rams (9-13, 5-2 MW) went into the locker room at halftime with a 37-28 lead, but a run early in the second half by UNLV (17-6, 5-2 MW) cut the lead to three.
CSU responded following a timeout by coach Kristen Holt, and managed to maintain its lead throughout the remainder of the game.
â€œIt was good to see us respond that way,â€ Holt said. â€œBecause weâ€™ve had a lot of times this year weâ€™ve kind of caved in those situations, and you know, I think weâ€™re learning and weâ€™re growing.â€
UNLV mounted its comeback in the second half on the shoulders of Kelli Thompson, who came into the game averaging 12.6 points per game, but had a team-high 20 points for the Rebels.
â€œKelliâ€™s had a really good year,â€ UNLV coach Kathy Olivier said. â€œSheâ€™s done some great things, sheâ€™s not just shooting the ball well, but sheâ€™s doing so many other things for this basketball team, so sheâ€™s gotta keep doing that.â€
Along with Thompsonâ€™s scoring, UNLV challenged the Rams on the inside, pulling down 19 offensive rebounds in the game, allowing the Rebels to get second chance scoring opportunities.
â€œThat was definitely an area that hurt us,â€ CSU guard Hayley Thompson said of UNLVâ€™s offensive rebounds. â€œThey were able to cut it pretty close during the second half because of second chance shots and getting offensive rebounds.â€
The win, along with TCUâ€™s loss to Wyoming Wednesday night, puts the Rams in second place in the Mountain West, two games behind San Diego State at the midway point of the conference schedule.
â€œItâ€™s a huge win,â€ forward Sam Martin said. â€œI think weâ€™ve just gotta carry this over.â€
CSU will now travel to Colorado Springs to play Air Force, a team they beat earlier in the year by 34 points, before returning home to play TCU and Boise State.
â€œPlaying (at Air Force) is hard,â€ Holt said. â€œWeâ€™ve got to be ready, and again, it goes back to just being prepared because their energy level will be good at home. It always is.â€
Womenâ€™s basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FG percentage: CSU: 52.9 UNLV: 38.1
Offensive Rebounds: CSU: 13 UNLV: 19
Turnovers: CSU: 16 UNLV: 16
Up Next: CSU vs. Air Force
When: Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.