Saturday, March 5, 2011

Despite letting up on the pressure a little in the second half and too many turnovers late in the game, UNLV dominated today's match-up against the Utes to close out the season with a 23-7 record (11-5 conference). 
Looking like the November/December team that got everyone so excited this season, it was an all-around team effort that led to UNLV's 78-58 victory.  Here are the highlights:
  • Rebels hit their first 8 shots, starting the game off with on a 22-8 run
  • UNLV's pressure defense held Utah scoreless for an 8 minute stretch in the first half
  • Rebels out rebounded the Utes 47-26; 27-10 in the first half
  • A trend UNLV needs to continue into post-season play:  the Rebels shot 8 of 12 from the 3-point line, 61% FG in the first half
  • Top Scorers:  Thomas, Bellfield, and Willis with 12 points each
  • Quality plays from UNLV's Big Men:  Thomas (12 points, 8 rebounds), Massamba (6 points, 6 rebounds), Lopez (9 points, 4 rebounds)
One of the more exciting/gruesome moments of the game came mid-way thru the first half when Anthony Marshall caught an accidental head-butt to the nose by Utah's Josh Watkins.  Luckily for Marshall (and UNLV fans), despite the amount of blood left at the scene, Marshall suffered only a minor injury and returned to play late in the half.
Today's solid performance helps UNLV justify the 6th(?) seed some NCAA tournament-watcher are predicting for the Rebels.
UNLV's next match-up comes in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament Thursday against Air Force.  The Rebels will certainly be out to avenge their ugly performance against the Falcons a few weeks ago.  In their last meeting against Air Force, the Rebels eeked out a win shooting just 33.3% FG and 14.3% from 3 point range.  UNLV needs to continue the strong play they demonstrated today to guarantee and win against Air Force and secure their first win of the season against San Diego St. -- their most likely opponent in the Semi-Final Round of the conference tournament.
On to tournament play....

No comments:

Post a Comment