Lady Rebels’ unlikely run continues into MWC semifinals

No. 7 seed UNLV pulled off another upset, this time stunning No. 3 Texas Christian 84-75 in the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament quarterfinals Wednesday.

"I’m just really, really proud of our basketball team right now," Lady Rebels coach Kathy Olivier said. "They’re just playing with an I-don’t-want-to-go-home attitude. They’re extremely focused, very coachable. That intensity needs to stay for a couple more games."

UNLV (14-17), which opened the tournament by upending No. 6 Brigham Young on Tuesday, dominated the Horned Frogs (20-10), leading by as many as 22 points early in the second half.

"I thought Vegas clearly outplayed us," TCU coach Jeff Mittie said. "They’d have beat a lot of people tonight."

The Lady Rebels face No. 2 seed San Diego State at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. The Aztecs (22-6), who received a two-round bye along with No. 1 seed Utah (20-6), won both regular-season meetings with UNLV. But the Lady Rebels hadn’t beaten BYU or TCU, either, before the tournament.

UNLV made 51.9 percent of its shots Wednesday and was 10-for-23 from the 3-point line.

Shamela Hampton (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Jamie Smith (18 and 11) each recorded double-doubles for UNLV. India Chaney and Shannon Oberg added 13 points apiece.

"I’d say our confidence level has gone up," Hampton said. "Coach has helped us with that. She said we could do this."

TK LaFleur led TCU with 19 points, Helena Sverrisdottir had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Shayla Moore scored 13 points and Emily Carter added 11 points.

"Watching (UNLV) last night (against BYU), I thought they were a much more committed team," Mittie said. "You know, new coach, getting what she’s trying to get out of them. Everybody always gets caught up because they struggled so much early, but this team beat Utah a couple of weeks ago, this team had San Diego State on the ropes. This is not a surprise here that they’re playing very well and playing at home very well."

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