The UNLV #6 Rebels beat the #11 Air Force Falcons 55-42 to set up a showdown with the #3 Boise State Broncos in the second round of the Mountain West tournament.
In the regular season the two teams split the series. Boise State taking the first game in Boise 75-56 in what would be the fifth win of an eight-game winning streak. All-Mountain West selection Brooke Pahukoa had 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal. Shay Shaw, another All-Mountain West selection, had 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocks. Marta Hermida, Freshman of the Year and All-Freshman Team selection, had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assist and a steal.
Then UNLV returned the favor in Vegas beating the Broncos 78-68 in February. That game would be the last loss of a four-game losing streak for the Broncos in the month of February. While Shaw and Hermida each filled their stat sheet (11 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals for Shaw; 17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 steals for Hermida) Pahukoa did not have the night she had in the previous game. She went 2-12 from the field and 1-7 from beyond the arc for just 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. UNLV's Brooke Johnson had 25 points and 7 assists in the win.
In both contests the Broncos gave up 20 plus points to a Rebel. Something they cannot do if they want to make it out of the second round. Brooke Pahukoa will need to be her normal sharp-shooting self if the team is going to be successful. Yaiza Rodriguez can hopefully match her 13 assist game from the Nevada contest from last week to get others open shots and points on the board. And the double-double machine of Shaw should be able to get involved early and often.
The Broncos tip off against the Rebels as the late game tonight at 7:30 p.m. MT. Watch it here. Live audio is here.