Published Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 | 2:44 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 | 4:52 p.m.
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Final, UNLV wins 70-39
It was one of those games where Lon Kruger could let his walk-ons play the last few minutes.
And, boy, did UNLV need it.
The Rebels came back from a 3-game skid to climb on top of the Rams early and keep them on the mat for 40 minutes en route to a 70-39 win on Saturday afternoon at the Mack.
All nine players in UNLV's regular rotation scored in the first half, and the effort was led by Chace Stanback and Anthony Marshall, who scored 12 points apiece.
Marshall recorded the first double-double of his career, adding 10 points to his stat line, while Kendall Wallace also snapped a recent funk by scoring 11 points of his own.
UNLV held the Rams to a 4-of-25 showing from the floor in the first half, and by the time the visitors headed back to the locker room, they were trailing by 24 points at 40-16.
The Rams fell to 15-11 overall and an even 6-6 in the Mountain West, while UNLV is now 20-7 overall and 8-5 in the league.
The Rebels are back in action at home on Wednesday night against another conference bottom-feeder — TCU.
For full postgame coverage, including stories, analysis, photos, video, stats and The Rebel Room: Postgame Edition, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.
11:36, second half, UNLV leads 55-28
Colorado State has finally found its legs on the offensive end, as the Rams are trading buckets with the Rebels so far in the second half.
Unfortunately for the visitors, however, that won't do much to chip away at what was a 24-point halftime deficit.
UNLV is still comfortably ahead and well en route to its 20th win of the season, up 55-28 with under 12 minutes to play.
Heading into the last TV timeout, Chace Stanback hit his third trey of the game, snapping his four-game drought of not scoring in double digits. He leads all scorers with 12 points.
Also looking good on the offensive end for UNLV is Oscar Bellfield, who is still battling the after effects of a bruise to his left knee. He has nine points, four assists and three rebounds, while his explosiveness off of that leg has looked better today than it did the last couple of times out.
Halftime, UNLV leads 40-16
UNLV finished the first half the same way it started, and now holds a commanding 40-16 lead over Colorado State at the break.
Apparently, Vegas oddsmakers knew what they were talking about, setting an opening line of 14.5 points in the Rebels' favor.
All nine players to see the floor in the first half for UNLV scored, led by nine from freshman guard Anthony Marshall, who put home a slew of acrobatic layups.
Meanwhile, Colorado State was just 4-of-25 from the floor, with three of them coming from long range.
Here are some other numbers of note from the first half ...
— UNLV is 15-of-26 from the floor and 5-of-9 from three, which is the most efficient the team has looked for an entire half in two weeks.
— The Rebels out-rebounded the Rams, 19-16.
— CSU has only two assists and eight turnovers. UNLV, on the other hand, has nine assists and five giveaways. The Rebels have had more turnovers than assists in their last two games.
— Aside from his nine points on 4-of-4 shooting, Anthony Marshall leads the Rebels with four rebounds. Chace Stanback and Darris Santee have three apiece.
— Poor Travis Franklin. After going 3-of-14 from the free throw line in the first meeting, he was 1-of-4 from there in the first half, with an airball in that mix.
7:50, first half, UNLV leads 28-8
The Rebels apparently have no intentions of letting up, as they now lead struggling Colorado State in the first half, 28-8.
Tre'Von Willis became the eighth Rebel to score just moments ago, first hitting a fading bank shot from 10 feet out, then a 3-pointer on the left wing. Leading the way so far for UNLV is Anthony Marshall, who has seven points, including a pair of acrobatic layups.
Also getting in on the act is Kendall Wallace, who has snapped his 3-point drought with a pair of deep balls so far.
Meanwhile, CSU is just 2-of-16 from the floor with five turnovers.
It's ugly, and it got ugly fast. The interesting note on the CSU side is that the coaching staff is wired up for its reality show on The Mtn. I'd love to hear the audio for this one.
15:13, first half, UNLV leads 10-2
Darris Santee got the start in place of Brice Massamba at the five-spot today for UNLV, largely due to his huge effort off of the bench in Wednesday's 66-61 loss at Utah. So far today, he has two points and a rebound, and the energy Lon Kruger wants has been shown by everyone in a Rebels uniform.
UNLV leads Colorado State early, 10-2, and is creating havoc on the defensive end. CSU already has three turnovers, while the Rebels are 4-of-8 from the floor.
Five different players have scored so far for Kruger's club, highlighted by a 3-pointer early from Chace Stanback.
The only disappointing thing so far about this one is the fan turnout. Apparently, three losses late in the season is enough to make the fringe fans stay home ...
Welcome to the Thomas & Mack Center, where UNLV's idea today was to try to pack the place. So far, it looks like the Rebels will have to show something more on the floor to get those fringe fans back in the building.
Of course, the Rebels need to turn it around from a recent 3-game losing streak for bigger reasons than fan support.
At 19-7 overall and 7-5 in Mountain West play, UNLV has a Bracket Buster game of its own today with Colorado State (15-10, 6-5) in town. In fact, the Rebels have four of them left, as the margin for error the rest of the regular season is at zero if UNLV wants to keep itself in contention for an at-large NCAA tourney bid.
And after the scare No. 12 New Mexico received at home today from lowly Air Force — escaping late, 59-56 — nothing is a given right now.
That said, here are today's 3 keys to UNLV victory ...
1) The top priority has to be stopping CSU big man Andy Ogide, who they held to just four points and two rebounds in 28 frustrating minutes in an 80-72 win in Fort Collins back on Jan. 20. With Matt Shaw out this time around, Darris Santee and Brice Massamba will be bigger on the defensive end than anywhere else, in my opinion.
2) The Rebels' outside shooting has been pretty rough of late, and if they want to make this an easy one, hitting some threes will be key. That's big today, especially, as Colorado State proved it could hang with UNLV last time around by hitting a slew of treys on its own end. One guy in particularly who needs a slump-buster is Kendall Wallace, who has gone two consecutive games without a 3-pointer made for the first time this season in the Rebels' last two outings.
3) Mindset is big for UNLV. The Rebels need to treat this game as if they're playing BYU or New Mexico. Colorado State has hung with everyone in the league this season except for the Cougars, and if the Rebels aren't sharp, these guys are just as capable of creating an early hole for Lon Kruger's club as Utah was the other night in Salt Lake City.
As for today's prediction and 'Pick to Click,' I think the bookmakers were a little crazy in making this a 14.5-point line in UNLV's favor, but I do think they win somewhat comfortably. I'll say 75-65. As for a 'Pick to Click,' I'm going to dig a bit and take Kendall Wallace. If there's an opportunity for him to bust out, this would be it.
Talk to you after tip-off.