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Lady Rebels pull through late against Boise State — PHOTOS

The No. 24-ranked UNLV women’s basketball team found itself in a rare position Wednesday night against Boise State: trailing entering the fourth quarter.

UNLV held a brief lead early in the first quarter, but Boise State led for more than 25 minutes in a matchup of the top two teams in the Mountain West standings entering the game.

Fortunately for UNLV, junior point guard Kiara Jackson — after being held scoreless through 3½ quarters — picked the perfect time to score her first points.

Jackson scored four points during an 8-0 UNLV run in the fourth quarter to help the Lady Rebels regain the lead, and they pulled away for a 63-57 home win over Boise State at Cox Pavilion.

“The fourth quarter, you saw Lady Rebel basketball again,” UNLV coach Lindy La Rocque said. “We got stops, we got out in transition, and we held (Boise State) to eight points to end the game. Of course, we want it to be for all four quarters, but there’s something to be said of gutting out the win.”

Senior center Desi-Rae Young led UNLV (25-2, 15-1) with 13 points as she battled foul trouble in the second half. All nine Lady Rebels who played scored at least four points.

“We did what we do best — attack the rim and score in the paint,” Young said. “That opens up our 3-point shots at the end of the game. As long as we do what we do best, we’ll come out with the win.”

Boise State (19-10, 10-6) led 49-46 entering the fourth quarter. UNLV was dealing with foul trouble, as Young picked up her third midway through the third and junior Alyssa Brown was called for her fourth late in the third.

With its two starting forwards on the bench, UNLV still attacked the basket. Nneka Obiazor and Jackson each made tough layups inside to help cut the deficit to one.

Jackson knocked down a pair of free throws to give UNLV a 54-53 lead with 6:50 left in the fourth. And after she missed a layup on the ensuing possession, Young was there for the putback during the 8-0 run.

Boise State went scoreless for nearly six minutes.

“I told (Jackson) to attack the basket, and if you miss, we’re going to clean it up,” Young said. “That’s the best thing she can do for us is keep attacking, keep doing her pullup (jumpers) and layups no matter how big the defender is. She does a phenomenal job of just keeping our heads on, too.”

Boise State made it a one-possession game twice in a minute, but freshman guard Amarachi Kimpson scored UNLV’s final five points to secure the win.

“Tonight necessarily, the play wasn’t called for (Kimpson), but the ball ended up in her hands, and she has all the skills to make big-time plays,” La Rocque said. “We trust her. She’s just as confident and poised. … She’s playing beyond her years.”

Jackson finished with just four points but added six rebounds and six assists.

“She was a little off to start the game, but we were all just a little off,” La Rocque said. “… She goes downhill in transition and we’re a different team, and you saw a different team in the fourth quarter. Better late than never, especially for her, but she’s a leader of this team.”

Obiazor added nine points off the bench, and Kimpson scored eight.

Sophomore Tatum Thompson led Boise State with 14 points off the bench.

UNLV led early, but Boise State went on a 12-2 run in the final 5:31 of the first quarter to take a 14-8 lead after the first 10 minutes. The Lady Rebels shot 25 percent (4-of-16) in the first quarter.

Boise State’s largest lead was 21-13 with six minutes left in the second quarter. Sophomore Jasmyn Lott hit a pair of jumpers on a 9-2 run to help the Lady Rebels tie the score at 25 with under two minutes left, but the Broncos led 28-27 at halftime.

UNLV next hosts San Diego State at 2 p.m. Saturday in its final home game. The Lady Rebels have already clinched their third straight Mountain West regular-season title.

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

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