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Lady Rebels hit century mark, win 12th straight game

As UNLV’s winning streak reached 12 games with a 104-63 victory over San Jose State on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center, Lady Rebels coach Lindy La Rocque has made sure her team focuses on one game at a time.

Having that mindset has helped UNLV go on its longest winning streak since 1993 and take a two-game lead in the Mountain West.

“That’s how we’ve gotten to where we are, and that’s what we’re going to do to stay focused and committed,” said La Rocque, whose team improved to 22-4 overall and 14-1 in the conference. “We understand that we’re playing well, but we still have areas to improve on.”

One area that shined in UNLV’s dominant performance was its ability to close each quarter on a run.

San Jose State (4-22, 1-14) had cut UNLV’s lead to 39-31 with about three minutes left in the first half. Justice Ethridge, who led the Lady Rebels with 18 points, then drew a foul and hit two free throws to spark a 13-1 run to end the quarter.

“It’s something that we continue to practice … finishing quarters strong is really important for long-term success that feeds into the momentum of the next quarter,” La Rocque said.

Essence Booker (16), Desi-Rae Young (15), Khayla Rooks (13) and Nneka Obiazor (13) also scored in double figures for the Lady Rebels, who shot 61 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range. Their 104 points are the program’s most since 1994.

La Rocque did not play anyone more than 28 minutes, allowing her starters to rest and give her bench valuable minutes.

“This type of game shows you the depth we have, it shows you why our starters are so good, because they have people that are really challenging them in practice,” La Rocque said.

With the Mountain West tournament about two weeks away, La Rocque said the Lady Rebels are peaking at the right time.

“You want to be playing your best basketball at this point in the year, and we’re pretty close,” she said.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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