Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rebels stay perfect, beat UCSB in double overtime 94-88

Guts won the game in double overtime. A few days after the landmark win against North Carolina the Rebels stormed  into Santa Barbara to exact some revenge on USCB for their punishment over the years. It was as tough and close as they have come for the Rebels this season, taking not one but two overtimes to seal the deal. As seen by the following chart, this game was extremely close almost the whole way. It was a hotly contested game with a Gaucho’s team who definitely looked forward to the challenge of trying to knock off the #18 team in the nation.

Santa Barbara had big efforts from several players, most notably Orlando Johnson with 36 points, 14 for Nunally, and Jamie Serna with 13. UCSB rebounded slightly better than the Rebels, 46-44.

Stats between the two teams were very even. The Gauchos shot 31% in the first half, 39% in the second, and 63% in overtime. In total UCSB shot 42% for game. The Rebels shot 41% in the first half, 50% for the second half, I don’t have the overtime stat but the Rebels finished 46% for the game.

A familiar theme has emerged, Mike Moser – national player of the week had another monster game, 34 points and 10rebs for Moser – another double double deluxe. Mike hit 6 threes and really fueled the team when overall, a lot of the team was struggling to hit shots with consistency in this game.

Chace Stanback had a totally different regular game, he only had 2 points before overtime, then exploded and really carried the Rebels to the win. He finished the game with 19, doing the math its 17 overtime points.  

Carlos Lopez had a nice game in regulation, tallying 9 points, and Massamba big in over time for the Rebels making key plays and hustling.

Anthony Marshall had a nice game as well, bringing 13 points to the table 8 assists, and a few nice dunks. 

Free throws and threes were big for the Rebels in overtime, and probably made the difference. The Rebels scored by making 8 of 11 free throws and 3 of 7 from three in overtime.

Due to the double overtime, multiple players had to putting in over 40 minutes. Thankfully get a few days to recover at home before they travel to Wichita State, a team that is generally recognized as better than UCSB.

Like many games, it was a a series of runs and holding off runs. While the Rebels held a decent lead close to the end of the game, UNLV gave it away by not being able to contain UCSB and they tied it up to push it to overtime. This game did not come down to who wanted it more – both teams wanted the win equally. When it comes to playing so many minutes, it came down to experience, talent, and conditioning – and that’s where UNLV outshined UCSB, especially in the second overtime.

While it wasn’t a blow out, it was a sweet and difficult win for this Rebels team, one they can learn from and use when adversity comes knocking, and it certainly will.

While the Rebels are still undefeated, and are now 8-0 and ranked, losses will come. Perhaps at Wichita, Wisconsin, or Illinois.

Nobody’s perfect, and home court advantage accounts for about 10 points usually for those who handicap a game. The one thing that’s certain is the amount of heart and determination this team possesses is the best we’ve had in years, and regardless of whether they have 2 losses or 6 losses at the end of the season, this is a scary good team that will make plenty of noise in the tournament.

Rebel Reign MVP(s) - Mike Moser and Chase Stanback (for his overtime heroics)

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