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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | WOMEN'S NIT

Loyola Beaten by Nevada Las Vegas

March 16, 2001|EARL GUSTKEY

The Loyola Marymount women ran out of firsts Thursday night as they were beaten by a bigger, better-shooting Nevada Las Vegas team that turned back the Lions in the final minute for a 59-56 victory in a first-round Women's National Invitation Tournament game at Gersten Pavilion.

Loyola Marymount closed out its best season ever at 21-10. It also recorded its first 20-victory season after reaching the West Coast Conference tournament finals for the first time.

But on Thursday, the Lions never seemed to get the big shot to put them over the hump.

They did grab their only lead with 4:50 to go when Raelen Self--playing for the first time in a month due to a hand injury--made a three-pointer to give Loyola a 50-49 lead.

The Rebels had no field goals in the last three minutes and still Loyola couldn't catch them.

UNLV (19-9) seemingly had a safe 57-52 lead with 1:33 left but Bryn Britton and Adrianne Slaughter brought the noisy crowd to its feet by rallying the Lions. Britton made two free throws and Slaughter scored inside to cut the lead to 57-56 with 15 seconds remaining.

But the Rebels' Kinesha Davis made two free throws with 12 seconds for a three-point lead. Kate Murray missed a game-tying three-pointer for the Lions.

Loyola's second half was far better than its first, when the Lions shot five-for-30 and trailed at intermission,27-16.

Coach Julie Wilhoit's team toughened defensively in the second half but were twice burned allowing baskets with one second left on the 30-second shot clock.

UNLV's Tiana Sanders and Davis both scored in that fashion in the final 10 minutes, giving the Rebels four and five-point leads on each occasion.

"That just kills you, after you've played 29 seconds of great defense," Wilhoit said.

Linda Frohlich led the Rebels with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in 36 minutes.

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