Courtesy of Braidon Nourse

LAS VEGAS – When four players score double digits in the same game, it’s usually a sign of success, at least on the offensive end.

Even better when your opponent is held to eight points or fewer in each of the final three quarters.

In the first quarterfinal of the 2024 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championship, the first-seeded UNLV Lady Rebels cruised past No. 9 Fresno State, winning 83-35.

Aside from a stagnant start from both teams which resulted in a 4-all tie nearly halfway into the first quarter, UNLV never looked in trouble.

“It just shows how deep we are that we can all contribute,” said junior guard Kiara Jackson, who tallied 15 points and four assists. “It means a lot because we don’t have to put pressure on one single person. We can all make plays and help us get a win.”

Leading all scorers was Alyssa Brown with 16 points for the Lady Rebels in just 23 minutes. She fell just short of a double-double, having brought down nine rebounds.

Two of her rebounds were offensive, which contributed to a team total of eight on the day. Off of those, the Lady Rebels scored 10 second-chance points. A good figure, which will be one of the points of emphasis for the team moving forward.

“Offensive rebounds are easy opportunities for offense,” Brown said. “We’re right there at the basket to put it back or you have kick-outs. It honestly puts a lot of pressure on the defense, and it’s a little deflating for them. For us to get eight in and convert those points, it’s great.”

Another point of emphasis was to frustrate and limit what the Bulldogs’ Mia Jacobs was able to do offensively. After a 25-point outing yesterday against Air Force, she was held to just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Maria Konstantinidou was the only other Bulldog to match that figure, grabbing six rebounds in the process.

“(Jacobs) is a great player,” UNLV coach Lindy La Rocque said. “She was the one we were most concerned about. She’s a great shooter, so if you let her get good looks at the basket, she makes them. We did a great job switching everything with her and just made it tough on her.”

Not only did the Lady Rebels frustrate Jacobs, but just as equally thwarted anything the Bulldogs were trying to do offensively.

The first quarter, the Bulldogs scored 13 points. They wouldn’t score more than eight in any of the remaining periods. At one point, the Lady Rebels went on a 25-0 run between the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third.

La Rocque doesn’t necessarily keep track of things like that. So long as her team is playing the way she knows they can, figures like that are just a side effect.

“I think I don’t keep track of how much we’re scoring and how much they’re not,” La Rocque said. “For us, the emphasis is just continue to do the right thing. I thought we did a great job. The first quarter it’s just trying to figure out a little bit of the balance of the game, a little bit of a slow start, but then once we really got locked in defensively, that allows us to get out in transition.

“Then whether it’s the end of the first quarter or first half, we always want to finish strong and talk about there’s two minutes, three minutes left. Let’s get stops and scores. Then, of course, coming out of halftime, it’s kind of the same message of let’s start this thing out right, get some scores and some stops, and we can give ourselves some cushion.”

The Lady Rebels’ semifinal will be on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT against the winner of No. 4 Nevada and No. 5 Colorado State.