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Nebraska surge stings Lady Rebels

School is out on Sunday, but that didn’t stop Nebraska from teaching UNLV a lesson in the Lady Rebels’ home opener.

Dominique Kelley and Yvonne Turner scored 17 points each for the Cornhuskers, who sank nine 3-pointers and outrebounded UNLV 44-37 en route to a 73-51 victory at Cox Pavilion.

“They picked us apart in a couple things — transition 3s and rebounding,” said sophomore forward Jamie Smith, who led UNLV with 12 points and 11 rebounds. “But at least now we know what we need to work on. They’re a great team, and it only makes us better when we play a better team.”

The Cornhuskers (2-0) received six votes in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll and were picked sixth in the Big 12 Conference. Lady Rebels coach Kathy Olivier said she scheduled them to help UNLV (1-1) prepare for Mountain West play.

“That’s why we play teams like this — to get better,” she said. “A team like Nebraska reminds me a lot of (MWC) teams like San Diego State and (Texas Christian). They’re big and play uptempo defensively. A team like this is going to make us much better in the conference.”

Freshman Kelli Thompson had 11 points for UNLV, which shot 15-for-53 (28.3 percent).

The young Lady Rebels, who lost five seniors and feature seven newcomers, took a 14-10 lead. But the Cornhuskers answered with a 15-2 run, capped by three 3-pointers, to take a 25-16 lead, and they never trailed again. Nebraska made six 3-pointers in the half and finished 9-for-27 behind the arc.

Nebraska ended the half on an 8-0 run for a 36-23 lead and extended the run to 28-8 in the second half to take its largest lead, 56-31.

Cory Montgomery added 14 points for the Cornhuskers, and Kelsey Griffin had nine points and 13 rebounds.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0354.

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