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Lady Rebels’ late rally falls short in loss to Northwestern

UNLV cut a late 16-point deficit to three with 33 seconds left, but Northwestern blocked Alana Cesarz’s potential game-tying 3-point attempt with seven seconds remaining and held on for an 88-84 victory over the Lady Rebels on Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Cesarz led all scorers with 24 points and had 11 rebounds for UNLV (3-7), which lost its fifth straight. Aley Rohde had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman guard Nikki Wheatley added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Rebels, who had three players post double-doubles in the same game for the first time since 2005.

Nia Coffey scored 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting and had a team-high seven rebounds for Northwestern (9-0), which trailed 11-3 before rallying.

The Wildcats, who made 9 of 22 3-pointers, closed the first half on a 42-25 run to take a 45-36 lead into the break. They took their largest lead, 83-67, with 5:06 left before UNLV closed the game on a furious 17-5 spurt.

Briana Charles hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Rebels — who made only 2 of 14 3s — to make the score 86-80 with 1:12 left. Wheatley followed with two layups for UNLV, with her second one making it 87-84.

Lady Rebels guard Danielle Miller had a layup attempt blocked out of bounds with 11 seconds left. After Maggie Lyon blocked Cesarz’s 3-point try, Northwestern got the rebound and Coffey hit a free throw to seal the win.

UNLV ends its nonconference schedule at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bakersfield.

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