Michigan Women end UNLV’s 22-game winning streak in 1st round

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Emily Kiser leads Michigan by far in the basketball equivalent of football helmet stickers for the number of game-winning plays she has made this season — diving for loose balls at the takeover.

There are more than 40 stickers in his locker now, according to coach Kim Barnes Arico – more than double the number of any teammate. And there will be more to come before the NCAA Women’s Tournament ends.

Kiser had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Maddie Nolan added 18 points and sixth-seeded Michigan defeated 11th-seeded UNLV 71-59 in the first round on Friday, ending the 22-game winning streak of the Rebels.

“Our team had a little bit of trouble on their shoulder,” said Barnes Arico, whose side entered the tournament having lost three of four. “We lost a few games in the aftermath, but we weren’t completely healthy.

“With everyone back, I think our players really have that confidence,” added Barnes Arico, whose side made the Elite Eight last season. “They also have that experience.”

Leigha Brown scored 17 points for the Wolverines (23-9), who used their size and physical advantages to build and hold a double-digit lead for much of their opener in Greenville Area 2 .

UNLV “hasn’t seen the defense that we play — and the Big Ten play — night after night,” Brown said. “We knew if they were aggressive and hit first, it would be very difficult for them to get into the sets they wanted.”

The Wolverines will face either third-seeded LSU or 14th-seeded Hawaii in the second round.

UNLV (31-3) missed the longest winning streak in program history. His Mountain West Tournament title win tied a mark previously achieved in the 1978-79 and 1989-90 seasons.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the season we’ve had,” said UNLV coach Lindy La Rocque. “Obviously this one stings and it’s going to be with us for a little while.”

The Rebels went undefeated (27-0) by scoring 69 or more points – a total they couldn’t match against a Michigan team that outscored them 41-31.

Essence Booker scored 16 points for UNLV, while Judge Ethridge and Desi-Rae Young each scored 11.

Booker said the Rebels were in one of their worst forms this season to start the game.

“It felt like a workout we came to after our vacation,” she said, but added, “I’m going to hold my head up, just because I’m proud of what we’ve done and this loss. doesn’t dictate all of the things we’ve done that have gone down in the history of our program.”

Michigan took the lead for good when offensive rebound guard Laila Phelia set up Brown’s second chance to make it 9-7 in the first quarter.

The Wolverines led up to 13 points in the second quarter before Kenadee Winfrey and Ethridge each hit 3 points in an 8-0 run that helped UNLV move closer to five points.

Michigan led 28-20 at halftime. Wolverines took a 17-point lead when Kiser scored eight points on a free throw, two lay-ups and a 3 in a 12-0 run that made it 48-31 by the end of the game. third period. UNLV only got nine points closer after that.

“We really take (the defense) into our identity,” Kiser said. “In the first half, when we weren’t scoring, we were trying to get those saves – and that has to be your mindset.”


Wearing a left knee brace and playing her third game since missing seven with a leg injury, Phelia exerted her defensive influence on the game. She grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to go along with her eight points — less than half her 16.9 average.

“The most important thing for me was just figuring out that I was always trying to get into the offensive flow of things, missing a lot of games, I was always trying to get into the flow of things,” Phelia said. “So I was like, ‘OK, what can I do to help our team?’ And it was bouncing.

“I feel like once I put my mind on something I can accomplish,” Phelia added, “and I wanted to help the team that way.”


UNLV: Shot 28% (7 of 25) from 3-point range, well below his season low average of 33.8% entering. … Shot 38% (23 of 60) overall, also well below his 46.3% average for the season.

Michigan: Converted 12 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points. …Finished with a 20-14 point advantage on turnovers. … Barnes Arico improved to 10-0 in first-round games at the NCAA Tournament.


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