LAS VEGAS — The host Rebels put their foot on the gas early, and UNLV earned a convincing 78-55 non-league women’s basketball win over UAlbany Friday in the first round of the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament.
UNLV (5-0) outscored the Great Danes 19-8 in the first quarter, and had a 45-22 lead at halftime. By that time, the Rebels were shooting 50% from the field, including going 6 of 13 for 3-pointers. UNLV was also outrebounding UAlbany 24-12 and had a 20-6 advantage in points in the paint.
UAlbany (3-2) had a fourth-quarter burst and outscored the Rebels that period, but it was too late to make a difference.
Nneka Obiazor’s double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds paced UNLV. Essence Booker and Jasmyn Lott each added 11 points.
Ellen Hahne and freshman Karyn Sanford led the Great Danes with 10 points apiece. The 10 points were a career-high for Sanford. Helene Haegerstrand made her first appearance this season, returning from an injury, and contributed eight points, two rebounds and one assist in 12 minutes. Fatima Lee added a team-high four rebounds.
“UNLV is a very well-balanced team,” UAlbany coach Colleen Mullen said in a release. “We struggled to keep them off the offensive glass, and they were able to capitalize on those second-chance opportunities. Offensively, we struggled to score over their length at times. I was proud of our fourth-quarter defensive effort.”
UAlbany will play East Tennessee State in the consolation at 2 p.m. Saturday.