Christopher Trim/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

LAS VEGAS — If there is any team in college basketball that hopes that “the third time is the charm” is indeed accurate, it is the UNLV Lady Rebels, a.k.a. the third-winningest team in college basketball in the last three seasons. On Wednesday night, they completed the second of a three-fold assignment going into 2024: earning a conference tournament championship.

Will an NCAA Tournament win come next in about two weeks’ time? At least they earned the opportunity to accomplish the feat, that after the top-seeded Rebels pulled away in the fourth to defeat No. 7 San Diego State 66-49 in the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday evening. Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Desi-Rae Young had her 48th career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Tournament Most Outstanding Player Alyssa Brown had 11 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.

The Rebels, who also won the conference regular season title in the past three years, became the first Mountain West team in history to pull the regular season-tournament double. In both 2022 and last season, UNLV followed up those triumphs with close defeats in the NCAA Tournament: in 2022, the Rebels lost by five against Arizona on the Wildcats’ home court in Tucson, and they went down in defeat to Michigan in Baton Rouge in 2023.

Thought it is unlikely that the Rebels will achieve a high-enough seed to host a first-and-second-round subregional, they should be able to get a much better seed than the 13-seed it got in 2022 and the 11-seed from last season.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday’s event, with all photos taken by Las Vegas-area photographer Christopher Trim. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 24 pictures in total.


Facebook Comments Box
Tags : Mountain West ConferenceSan Diego State AztecsUNLV Rebelswomen's college basketball

Leave a Response