As the UNLV men’s basketball team honored Armon "The Hammer" Gilliam at the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday night, the UNLV women’s basketball team was busy putting the hammer down on Dixie State College next door at Cox Pavilion.
The Lady Rebels led 15-0 before the Rebels from Division II scored, and UNLV took a 27-point lead into halftime en route to a 94-48 rout in its only preseason game.
The members of UNLV’s "Four-H Club" reached double-figure scoring. Returning starters Brittany Halberg (18 points), Sequoia Holmes (14) and Shamela Hampton (10) were joined by newcomer Dominique Harris (11), who practiced with the Rebels last year but sat out games after transferring from Gonzaga.
All 13 players who suited up for UNLV scored, and 10 played at least 10 minutes as coach Regina Miller began building a deep rotation for her pressing defense.
"Everyone played a significant amount of time," she said. "If we can play nine or 10 people consistently, that’s going to help our defense."
The Lady Rebels, coming off a 14-15 season — Miller’s first losing effort in nine years at the school — held Dixie State to 24.6 percent shooting (14-for-57), including 20 percent (5-for-25) in the first half.
UNLV made 19 steals, five by Holmes, the reigning Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. The Rebels forced 32 turnovers and outrebounded Dixie State, 49-36.
"We definitely need to work on our defensive intensity. We got some deflections, but we can get more," said Holmes, the team’s only senior. "I really want our team to be a very good defensive team. That can take us wherever we want to go."
Holmes made 6 of 15 shots, and Halberg, Harris and Hampton shot a combined 13-for-18 from the field for UNLV, which shot 52.2 percent, sinking 35 of 67 shots.
Halberg, at point guard, had a team-high eight rebounds and five assists.UNLV SportsStory Index
UNLV — 94 DIXIE STATE — 48 KEY: The Lady Rebels had four players score in double figures, paced by Brittany Halberg’s 18 points. NEXT: UNLV vs. Long Beach State, 5 p.m. Friday, Thomas & Mack Center