Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 | 2:04 a.m.
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Ryan Greene and Ray Brewer discuss UNLV's 60-50 triumph over Air Force on Tuesday night at the Mack. Kendall Wallace helped get the Rebels going in the second half, while Derrick Jasper hurting his left knee was the hot topic of the night. The guys take a look at who could emerge if the UNLV junior misses any extended period of time.
On Tuesday, he went for 22 minutes, scoring eight points on 4-of-4 shooting, also grabbing four rebounds in the process.
Massamba was key early on as the Rebels were sluggish offensively, struggling to adjust the slowed-down pace enforced by the Falcons.
He scored UNLV's first six points of the game. The first two buckets came off of sweet inside dishes from Derrick Jasper and Oscar Bellfield. His third, however, was the byproduct of a nice move with his back to the basket after taking an entry feed from Jasper on the right block. It was an example of him making the best of his assertiveness of late on the offensive end, in which he's made a habit of setting up on the block and calling for the ball.
Meanwhile, backups Shaw and Darris Santee, each played nine minutes, combining for six points and four rebounds on 3-of-3 shooting.
In UNLV's last two games, the trio is a combined 16-of-17 from the floor.
Inside the numbers
A look at some key numbers from Tuesday's contest ...
• Turnover issues began to bother UNLV sophomore guard Oscar Bellfield in two road games last week, as he combined for 13 assists and eight turnovers in the two victories. On Tuesday, he had a career-high 10 assists — besting his previous career-high of nine set on Jan. 6 at BYU — and had no turnovers. Through 21 games this season, he has 102 assists after totaling 108 in 32 games as a freshman. In conference play this season, he has 48 assists to 15 turnovers, good for a better than 3-to-1 ratio.
• After struggling to find his offensive footing earlier this year, Chace Stanback's 12 points on Tuesday made it six consecutive games in which he's scored in double figures. Meanwhile, Tre'Von Willis's six-game 20-plus point streak came to an end, as he notched 13.
• UNLV won the rebounding battle, 28-24, making it four straight games in which the Rebels have out-rebounded their opponents.
UNLV advertised a "black-out" for Tuesday's game in an effort to fill the stands at the Thomas & Mack Center, encouraging fans to wear black and giving out black UNLV T-shirts to the first 4,000 fans in attendance.
Lon Kruger even posted on his Twitter feed on Monday night a limited-time $5 ticket special for those who caught the tweet in time.
It paid off, as Tuesday's announced attendance went in the books as 14,175.
What's on tap?
UNLV is off for eight days before taking on Wyoming (8-11 overall, 1-4 Mountain West) next Wednesday night in Laramie, Wyo.
After atoning for two unsightly road losses from last season in the past week, the Rebels will try to avenge a third from the 2008-09 campaign on that trip. Last season, UNLV was tripped up by the Cowboys, 77-68, during their late stumble in Mountain West play.
While UNLV is off until then, Wyoming first takes on Utah at home on Wednesday night, then travels to face Air Force on Saturday afternoon.
Wyoming's Wednesday tilt will be far from the league headliner on Wednesday night, as No. 12 BYU (20-1, 5-0) travels to Albuquerque to face No. 23 New Mexico (18-13, 4-2) in a key battle for positioning atop the league standings.
BYU is the conference's lone undefeated in MWC play, while New Mexico enters the night a half-game behind UNLV, which improved to 5-2 in the league with Tuesday's win.
The final word
Massamba on the team drawing inspiration for the second half from Derrick Jasper, who went down late in the first half with a left knee injury: "We just told each other we had to play for Derrick, because we knew he wanted to be on the court."