Despite having its most complete roster in weeks, CSU women’s basketball still came up short Thursday night in Las Vegas.
Freshman guards Emily Neal and Brittney Stirling were back in uniform after nearly three weeks of suspension, but their addition was not enough as the Rams fell 57-46 to Nevada-Las Vegas, CSU’s seventh consecutive loss.
CSU (6-14, 1-7) was led by senior guard Sara Hunter’s 13 points and freshman guard Ashley McFarland’s nine points.
Sophomore center Shamela Hampton finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for UNLV (7-13, 4-4).
Neal and Stirling were suspended along with freshman guard Kelly Jo Mullaney and freshman center Raysha Ritter on Jan. 12 for an alleged prank on teammate Kelly Finley.
Neither returning player started and only Neal received limited playing time.
The Rams were also without senior guard Molly Nohr, who took a personal leave of absence last week.
Both teams missed several game-opening shots before senior center Marilyn Moulton scored the game’s first basket for the Rams.
After a Hunter jump shot tied the game at 15, the Runnin’ Rebels outscored the Rams 10-3 the rest of the half to take a 25-18 lead into the break.
The Runnin’ Rebels scored 10 points off turnovers in the first half, while the Rams had none.
UNLV asserted themselves early and often in the second half, using a 10-2 run to open up a 43-28 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Moulton, Finley and freshman forward Juanise Cornell all found themselves in foul trouble in the second half. Finley fouled out with 8:35 to play, while Moulton and Cornell each spent most of it on the bench with four fouls.
The Runnin’ Rebels capitalized, finishing with 11 offensive rebounds and dominating the inside game as UNLV never looked back.
Up next for CSU is a second match-up with the last team they defeated, Air Force. The Falcons are the only team below the Rams in the conference standings.
The Falcons come to Moby Arena Sunday at 2 p.m.