Saturday, November 26, 2011


Fantastic win by the Rebels – Nation take notice, UNLV is talented and is back. An epic thanksgiving gift for all Runnin’ Rebels fans!

UNLV never really had problems in this game, the Rebels started off blazing with consecutive 3 pointers. The first inside bucket was Massamba’s with a layup making the score. 11-4 with 16:19 to go. UNLV’s biggest lead early in the game was 7 points, but then gave some of it back when UNC went on a run and cut it to 2 points, (11-9). UNLV then went on another nice run sparked by Marshall and Stanback which pushed the score back out to 17-9. UNC then finally took the first lead of the game which the Rebels quickly tied at 18 all with about 8:30 left to play in the first half. UNC and UNLV were evenly matched as far as shooting percentage went in the first half. UNC took the lead again and then the lead traded back and forth between teams until the 4:30 mark, when UNC held the lead for the remained of the first half. UNLV stalked UNC though keeping pace and ending the half only four points behind UNC, 38-42. One of the more amazing moments of  the first half was a drive and dunk by Anthony Marshall – if you didn’t get up and yell on that one, you probably not reading this website (or didn’t watch the game.)

The second half started very much like the first, with UNLV blazing again and capitalizing with layups, jumpers, and three pointers. UNLV retook the lead at the 18 minute mark, 44-42.  What’s key about this point, is from there on out UNLV never relinquished the lead, and it only grew. UNC shooting went especially cold compared to the first half, they shot only 31%. UNLV held their largest lead of the night at 13 points on a dunk by Carlos Lopez at the 5:40 mark. It was at about that time I was telling my wife precluding some tragic event (or series of tragic events), UNLV would win this game. The closest UNC cut it to down the stretch was 83-77 at the 1:31 mark. Once that flurry had vanished, the bench was celebrated, the crowd went wild, and everyone knew it was a foregone conclusion – UNLV was going to beat the #1 team in the nation. 

Team shooting for the game was impressive, UNLV shot almost 44% from the field, and 40% from three (13). UNC shot 42% from the field and 44% from three (only 4). Free throw shooting was squarely in favor of UNLV, 83% vs 60%. 

Moser was all over the boards as usual, he collected 18 boards and 16 points, a monster double-double. Even though the Rebels were scorching from three point land shooting 13-32 (40%), what was particularly impressive was the inside play against the predicted more physical and skilled UNC players. Massamba, Thomas, and Lopez were all beasts, and held their own against a field of draft picks and all-americans. Moreover, Massamba goated Tyler Zeller into some silly fouls which kept him largely ineffective.

UNLV guards had fantastic nights as well, Oscar Bellfield was huge, especially from three point range, he was 4-8 from three and finished with 16 points and 9 assists. Anthony Marshall was big too, he was 2-3 from three point land and finished with 13 points and 2 steals.

Chace Stanback, welcome to the Rebel Reign MVP circle! Techincally everyone worked as a well oiled machine and had to, to beat the Tarheels, so everyone gets the award. But Stanback, what an effort – 28 points, only 1 foul, 1 block, 1 steal, 1 assist, and 10 rebounds, a double double and all around massive performance. He was good for 4 of the Rebels 13 3-pointers, and was perfect from the charity stripe. When someone like Stanback, who has been in the background through the first five games of the season can erupt against UNC – you have yourselves one of the five deepest teams in the NCAA. Chace was a hero tonight, we salute you.

What makes this particularly sweet is that UNC was at full strength, no key injuries and no excuses. Sure, they played last night – but so did UNLV. This win isn’t an astricks like the win we pulled off against #6 Kansas State last season – this was legit.

What should UNLV’s ranking be. Well, unfortunately this isn’t Highlander, you don’t take the head of your opponent and their ranking. But, we did just beat the #1 team on a neutral court and impressive fashion, by 10 points. I belive a ranking in the top 10 is in order, perhaps even top 5 given our record.

What makes the feat even more amazing was it was pulled off by a rookie coach in Coach Dave Rice. I am unaware of any head coach in his first season who knocked off the #1 team in the nation – if you can find it let me know, but this is spectacular. We are all super proud of our Rebels, and despite the odds against us had faith they could pull of this monumental upset. GO UNLV!!

Come discuss the win in the forums!

Post-game interview with Heath Schroyer:

Anthony Marshall unassisted dunk:

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