Friday, December 23, 2011

UNLV beats CAL 85-68

The golden bear falls, Cal is embarrassed by UNLV. When Coach Montgomery and Coach Kruger scheduled this mathup last year, its likely that both figured the Rebels would be ‘pretty good’ this year, and so would Cal. The trouble for Cal, is that this year the Rebels are not only pretty good, but outstanding in nearly every aspect of the game. So, playing UNLV at home has got to be a nerve racking experience for any opponent.

The Rebels had a fantastic start where they got multiple players involved offensively early, and shot a high percentage. Stanback, Marshall, Moser, and Lopez all got points early. The Cal Bears didn’t start off that bad either, but UNLV scored at a much better rate moving through the half. UNLV went on a nice run with about 12 minutes left in the half and created a 7 point cushion. Another nice run came with less than 6 minutes to close the half, where the Rebels pushed the lead to 18 points. That 18 points came by back to back three pointers (Stanback and Moser) and a couple of layups (Marshall and Thomas). In a really cool move to end the first half, with 3 seconds remaining Chace Stanback had a 3 pointer.

In the first half, the Rebels shot a blistering 54% from the field, and 45% from three point range. Equally as important, they only turned the ball over five times. Cal on the other hand, performed like bear cubs rather than bears. They only had 26 points as compared to the Rebels 46 points and shot 32% from the field. Chalk that up to Rebels defense, or bad Bears shooting. Oscar Bellfield was a man on a mission, he had 9 assists at the half .

The second half was about keeping the 20 point lead the Rebels had earned in the first half. On that objective, the Rebels did a great job as well. The lead ballooned to as many as 25 points in the mid-second half, to as few as 14 later. The give-back of points can only be attributed to two things 1) Cal is a good team and they were bound to make some shots, and 2) the Rebels with a sizable lead took the foot off the pedal a bit on defense. The Rebels closed the effort out solidly, finishing with an 17 point win over the Cal Bears.

Based upon Cal’s record and performance, this pre-season poll darling is not the best team in California, but may be the best in the PAC-12. The best team in California is likely the San Diego State Aztecs, a team we’ll likely face 3 times this season (twice and then likely in the MWC championships).

One of the greatest keys to the Rebels success this afternoon, were the 22 assists dished out in large part by Oscar Bellfield (11), as well as major contributors Hawkins, Marshall, Wallace, and Massamba. Mike Moser, Chace Stanback, and Oscar Bellfield all finished in double figures (points wise) but the big scorer was Anthony Marshall with 22 points on 9 of 16 shooting. This game featured quite a few dunks, a lot by Marshall but also some nice ones by Moser, an ally oop by Massamba (from Bellfield) and Lopez.

The Rebel Reign MVPs were Anthony Marshall (for scoring) and Oscar Bellfield (for distributing the ball).

Sights and sounds:
Confession: This was only the second game I’ve attended this season (unfortunately) but I saw some really great things. The energy and turnout was really special, while I don’t know the official figure it seemed as if there were probably 16,000 people in attendance – nearly all of them UNLV fans wearing Rebel Red. The UNLV band did a really nice job, has improved, and has learned two new modern tunes – great job guys! Also, maybe at my suggestion (likely not) the AV people hyped up the student section with some techno high BPM music, rather than the sleepy / campy stuff of last year – didn’t notice anything in the previous game I attended, so good job AV people. In a funny side note, I am 95% sure the T&M announced called Kendall Wallace – Kendall Marshall. I hope someone else heard that too.

Added Bonus: Announced during the game is the added bonus, the Hawaii game which will be played at 5pm on New Year’s Eve will now be televised on Chanel 8.

Great Job Rebels! This should maintain or elevate the Rebels in the rankings!

Video Recap (VIA CBS Sports)


  1. i definitely heard the kendall marshall thing with you haha

  2. I heard it too but in the defense is have made the same mistake.