Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Red hot home opener, Rebels win against TCU 101-78


Looking quite a bit different than the Rebels who lost a close one in San Diego, UNLV had everything working tonight and everybody involved in the fun.

This scorcher of a game started on a huge run by the Rebels, with UNLV putting 8 points on the board before TCU could score. If the initial unanswered run wasn’t enough, the Rebels then continued to capitalize while being extremely stingy on defense. The score was 18-2  and then TCU finally answered with a basket. The beauty of what the Rebels did, was they put 20 points on the board in the first five minutes, and essentially kept that margin, give or take, for the entire game. For a team that has been known as a ‘second half team’ early fire is just what the doctor ordered.

Everyone was fantastic in this game, Anthony Marshall had a career high 27 points, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 9 assists. The same Anthony Marshall who emerged in the SDSU game was there, but had even more confidence, swagger, tricks, and all of his teammates to back him up. At some points in the game, I could swear I was watching Kobe Bryant playing for the Rebels – he was that good.

Not far behind Marshall, Mike Moser was sensational as well. The rebound machine had 15 boards and 16 points, as well as 3 assists. Moser was the beastly character we’ve come to know and love, he lead the way with some phi slamma jamma moves, including a nice reverse dunk late in the game. All the more impressive, Moser was able to be Moser even while in foul trouble. He picked up his third with about 5 minutes to go in the first half.

The very same Chace Stanback who all but vanished in San Diego re-emerged in Las Vegas, and had a hell of a night. 21 points on 7-11 shooting, including 5-7 from deep made his hot hand continue into conference play.

In a nice surprise off the bench, Quintrell Thomas got a solid chunk of minutes (15) and made the most of it. He was 4-5 from the field, all dunks or layups, and had 4 boards and 3 blocks.

Oscar Bellfield, who still didn’t have his shot rolling, realized he didn’t need to attempt a lot of shots tonight and settled for being a distributor, and ended up with 6 points,  6 assists, and 2 steals.

The themes to this game were fantastic rebounding, running, and unselfish team play that has been the key all season in big victories. Nearly every shot was assisted, which shows teammates were finding the open man. The Rebels shot nearly 58% for the game – that’s freaking amazing. The biggest mistake TCU made was trying to play an up-tempo game, not that they don’t have the athletes (they do) but that they played right into the hands of UNLV.

The exciting part of the game for the casual fan would have to be all of the blocks, dunks, and three pointers. Surely, newly added Khem Birch was impressed on the end of the Rebels bench – you want fast paced high scoring basketball? Try 101 points in 40 minutes.

The Reign Men were Anthony Marshall, Chace Stanback, and Mike Moser. Anthony “Kobe” Marshall was unstoppable, Chase lit the place up like he was on fire in NBA jam, and Moser is just a beast who hopefully will be seriously considered for the Naismith award. Frankly, everyone on the team, top to bottom deserve the Reign Man award tonight – Congrats!

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