Fresno State’s woes continued in Las Vegas on Friday, as the women’s basketball team lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Bulldogs fell 54-38 against UNLV at Cox Pavilion, closing the door on a mediocre Mountain West Conference regular season that saw them finish seventh out of 11 with a 15-14 overall record and 8-10 mark in the conference.
Fresno State started cold offensively, and failed to heat up, as the Rebels (21-9, 12-6) ran off for their first win against the Bulldogs since the 2014-15 season.
The Bulldogs had won 14 of the last 16 meetings, including the last three in a row and last six in Las Vegas.
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But history didn’t side with Fresno State, which has struggled, especially on defense, since the loss of starting guard Breanne Knishka to a knee injury halfway through the season.
The Rebels (21-9, 12-6) took control of the game early, forcing nine Bulldogs’ turnovers to fuel a 16-5 lead midway through the second quarter.
Fresno State, which opened the game shooting 0 for 6, tried to rally back. The Bulldogs made four of their next five shots, and pulled within one on Bego Faz Davalos’ layup with 4:26 until halftime.
However, UNLV pulled away to start the second half, going on an 11-0 run to open the third quarter and lead by as many as 16 at the start of the fourth.
It was the lowest offensive output of the season for the Bulldogs, who shot just 14 for 39 (35.9 percent) from the field, 2 for 11 (18.2) from 3-point and 8 for 18 (44.4) from the charity stripe.
Fresno State was led by Candice White’s 13 points. Faz Davalos added nine points and 13 rebounds.
UNLV’s sophomore center Katie Powell scored a game-high 16 while Paris Strawther and Dakota Gonzalez added 12 apiece.
The Bulldogs are the seventh seed at next week’s conference tournament and will face No. 11-seed Nevada (11-18, 5-13) in the opening round. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday.
MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT: FRESNO STATE VS. NEVADA
- Monday: 4:30 p.m. at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
- Records: Bulldogs 15-14, 8-10 Mountain West; Wolf Pack 11-18, 5-13
- Series/Last meeting: Fresno State leads 42-10. Bulldogs swept the Wolf Pack in conference this season, winning 71-70 on Dec. 31 in Reno and again 68-54 on Jan. 21 at home.
- Next round: The Fresno State-Nevada winner will face No. 2-seed Wyoming in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
- Webcast: Mountain West Network (themw.com)