Richmond overwhelms Lady Rebels

It’s human nature for players to let up a little once they’ve built a sizable lead. The UNLV women’s basketball team proved to be all too human Friday in a 68-59 loss to Richmond in the Lady Rebel Shootout at the Thomas & Mack Center.

UNLV erased an early 21-7 deficit en route to a 32-29 halftime lead over the Spiders and opened the second half on an 8-0 run to take a 40-29 advantage.

Things went downhill in a hurry from there, though, as the Spiders went on a 21-2 run to take control.

Richmond (3-3) will play Montana (2-2) at 1 p.m. today at the Thomas & Mack in the title game, and host UNLV (1-3) will take on Oregon State (2-1) in the consolation game at 3:30 p.m.

Montana outscored Oregon State 23-11 in the first half on its way to a 57-42 victory.

“We need to bounce back and play better basketball and not let our opponent shoot (49) percent from the floor,” UNLV coach Regina Miller said.

Shooting continued to be a problem for the Lady Rebels, who made 10 of 29 shots (34.5 percent) in the second half and shot 41.1 percent (23 of 56) overall.

After going up 40-29 1:59 into the second half, UNLV mustered two points in the next 9:47.

“The interesting thing is we’re a better shooting team,” Miller said. “We just haven’t shown it in a game yet.”

Sequoia Holmes led the Lady Rebels with 21 points but struggled with her shot, going 7-for-19. The senior did ignite UNLV’s 25-8 run to finish the first half, scoring 11 points.

She also sank a jumper during the Lady Rebels’ 8-0 run to start the second half, but UNLV apparently used all its energy coming back from the early 14-point hole.

“First of all, we can’t let ourselves get in a hole like that and spend the whole time climbing back. If we played like that from the beginning, we would’ve had a big lead,” said UNLV point guard Brittany Halberg, who had 13 points and four assists. “We came out in the second half fired up with lots of energy and we started executing, and then we started to relax once we got the lead.”

Richmond’s Johanna McKnight led all scorers with 25 points, 18 in the second half, and Katie Holzer scored 13.

Shamela Hampton had 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds for UNLV.

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