San Jose State guard Dezz Ramos hit a 3-pointer to tie the game up at 55 against UNLV with just under a minute remaining in regulation, but an 8-0 run on free throws thereafter from the Lady Rebels lifted them to a 63-55 win over the Spartans Saturday afternoon at The Event Center.
UNLV (17-8 overall, 8-5 Mountain West) led early in the game, similarly to the previous meeting in Las Vegas on Jan. 28 where SJSU (8-16, 5-7 MW) rallied from a double-digit deficit to win, but the Spartans couldn’t find an answer for junior guard Dakota Gonzalez.
Gonzalez finished with a season-high 31 points on 12-for-23 shooting and 10 rebounds.
“Basically it comes down to who’s better, Dakota or Dezz, and Dakota was better today,” head coach Jamie Craighead said.
Though Ramos finished with 22 points, she was just 6-for-22 from the field and 2-for-6 from beyond the arc.
UNLV led for the entire first half and by 15 with 3:50 left in the second quarter, but SJSU finished the quarter on an 8-0 run to trim the deficit to 30-24.
Momentum carried over into the second half in favor of the Spartans as Myzhanique Ladd opened up the first possession of the third quarter with a three-pointer to cut it to a three-point game.
Ladd, who finished with eight points and grabbed half of the team’s rebounds with 12, knew rebounding was a crutch in the game.
“We definitely got outrebounded, they got more shots up than us, and that’s not our type of game,” Ladd said. The Lady Rebels grabbed 47 rebounds (20 offensive) compared to the Spartans’ 24.
SJSU led by four with 4:22 left in the third quarter, and though it seemed that they would pull away like the first meeting, UNLV took control in the fourth.
UNLV’s Alyssa Anderson was 0-for-2 in the first three quarters from downtown, but in the fourth, she made her next three attempts to extend the team’s lead to five.
Though a 5-0 run by the Spartans tied the game up at 55 with 50 seconds left, Dakota Gonzalez iced the game from the free-throw line where she was 5-for-6 for the afternoon.
“We just had no cohesiveness defensively, offensively -- it was a struggle,” Craighead said.
The Spartans will next face Fresno State (14-10, 7-6 MW) Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at The Event Center.
*Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team won its fourth straight game, defeating UNLV 76-74 in Las Vegas. They improve to 13-10 overall and 6-6 in conference and will travel to Fresno State (14-11, 6-7) Wednesday night, also at 7 p.m.