In the six MWC Championships all-time, the No. 5 seed has won four of six games vs. the No. 4 seed, including UNLV today over Wyoming.
For the second consecutive season, UNLV won its first round game and advances to the semis. The Lady Rebels will play No. 1 seed New Mexico, which defeated San Diego State, 81-52, in the first game of the tournament.
UNLV shot just 30 percent (9-for-30) in the second half but was helped by 92.3 percent (12-for-13) free-throw shooting, including a perfect 12-for-12 in the second half. RanDee Henry converted 8-of-8 free throws in the second half. Henry posted a double-double with 16 points and 14 boards.
With the score tied at 52-52 and just 5:02 remaining in the game, junior Brittney Thomas hit two consecutive treys to give UNLV a 58-54 lead with 2:16 to play. Then with seven seconds left and the Lady Rebels up by just three points, 62-59, she hit two free throws to clinch the victory.
UNLV held a 36-20 advantage in the paint for the game. The Lady Rebels scored 26 of their 31 first-half points in the paint and outscored Wyoming in the paint, 26-8, in the opening stanza. UNLV also outrebounded Wyoming, 44-35 in the contest. RanDee Henry and Sequoia Holmes each had 14 boards for the Lady Rebels,
UNLV's 44 team rebounds ties the MWC Championship record. The Lady Rebels tied New Mexico's total set in 2002.
Sequoia Holmes' 14 rebounds is a MWC Championship record for a freshman. She broke the previous record of 12 set by Jennie Overdiek of BYU (2003) and Lisa McCann of Wyoming (2000).
Wyoming led 10-6 four minutes into the game when the Lady Rebels went on a 17-0 run to go up by 11, 23-10, Wyoming went scoreless for over seven minutes before Michelle Taylor hit a jumper to end the run with 8:39 left in the first half. The Cowgirls then went on an 8-0 run of their own to close to within five points at 23-18.
Wyoming and UNLV were tied at 10-10 with 14:39 to play in the first half when UNLV scored on a Henry bucket and the Lady Rebels led until a Wyoming bucket tied it at 46 apiece with eight minutes remaining in the game. There were six ties in the game, with four in the second half. Wyoming's last lead was 10-8 with 15:32 remaining in the first half.
Ashley Elliott scored 22 points on the afternoon to lead Wyoming, including 12 in the second half. The senior scored eight of the Cowgirls' 10 points scored in a five-plus minute stretch late in the first half and had 10 first-half points to lead all scorers.
UNLV scored 11 second chance points to just three for Wyoming and the Lady Rebel bench outscored Wyoming's 16-4.