LAS VEGAS (AP) — Justice Ethridge and Essence Booker scored 16 points apiece and No. 21 UNLV rolled to its 20th straight victory by beating Nevada 84-47 on Monday in the quarterfinal round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
The top-seeded Lady Rebels (29-2), who posted an 18-0 record in conference play, advance to Tuesday’s semifinals.
Ethridge made 6 of 10 shots from the floor with three 3-pointers for UNLV. She added five rebounds and three assists. Booker sank 6 of 11 shots, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Alyssa Brown pitched in with 10 points and six rebounds. Kiara Jackson, voted the MWC’s top substitute, came off the bench to contribute nine points, five assists and four rebounds.
Megan Ormiston scored 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting to pace the Wolf Pack (10-21). Lexie Givens scored 16 on 6-of-7 shooting with two 3-pointers.
UNLV made half of its 18 first-quarter shots, including 5 of 7 from distance, and led 24-17. Ethridge and Booker combined to score 15 in the second period and the Lady Rebels took a commanding 47-23 lead into halftime.
Booker’s 3-pointer pushed the UNLV advantage to 63-33 with 97 seconds left in the third quarter.
UNLV’s Lindy La Rocque picked up her second MWC coach of the year award in the past three years and she has used home-grown talent to improve her team. Las Vegas natives Booker, Ethridge and Desi-Rae Young were all named to the all-conference team.
La Rocque’s Lady Rebels cracked the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1994 — debuting at No. 23 on Feb. 13.