Feb 012012
Authors: Andrew Schaller

After a disappointing loss to San Diego State last Saturday, CSU women’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.

“It was good to see us respond that way,” Holt said. “Because we’ve had a lot of times this year we’ve kind of caved in those situations, and you know, I think we’re learning and we’re growing.”

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.

“Kelli’s had a really good year,” UNLV coach Kathy Olivier said. “She’s done some great things, she’s not just shooting the ball well, but she’s doing so many other things for this basketball team, so she’s gotta keep doing that.”

Along with Thompson’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.

“That was definitely an area that hurt us,” CSU guard Hayley Thompson said of UNLV’s offensive rebounds. “They were able to cut it pretty close during the second half because of second chance shots and getting offensive rebounds.”

The win, along with TCU’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.

“It’s a huge win,” forward Sam Martin said. “I think we’ve just gotta carry this over.”

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.

“Playing (at Air Force) is hard,” Holt said. “We’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.”

Women’s basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Team Stats
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.

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