Published Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 | 6 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 | 9:02 p.m.
Final, UNLV wins 92-56
By mid-way through the second half, all anyone in the Thomas & Mack Center cared about was the Rebels keeping their vaunted 3-point streak alive.
Chace Stanback did the job, hitting one with just over seven minutes left to play from the left corner, pushing the program's NCAA record of a streak to 774 games.
Truth is, there wasn't much else to keep tabs on at that point in a 92-56 romp.
After Southeastern Louisiana's Jason Marks was ejected for a flagrant foul off of an elbow to Stanback in the first half, UNLV closed the half on a 21-8 run.
Behind Anthony Marshall, Derrick Jasper & Co., the Rebels polished off the Lions and cruised to 2-0 on the season.
Next up is Wisconsin, who visits the Mack for a 4 p.m. matinee on Saturday.
SE La.'s Trent Hutchin led all scorers with 18 points, while Marshall led five Rebels in double figures with 14 points.
Stanback's trey gave him 10, while also scoring 10 was freshman Karam Mashour in his official UNLV debut. He still has a ways to go before moving up the team's perimeter rotation — especially on the defensive end — but at least got rid of the nerves that clearly plagued him in a five-minute first half stretch.
For full postgame coverage, including stories, analysis, photos, stats and The Rebel Room Postgame Edition podcast, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.
6:43, Second Half, UNLV leads 77-49
Go figure, that to this point in the 2010-11 season, the loudest roar from the UNLV crowd was for a 3-pointer late in a nearly 30-point blowout.
Chace Stanback's trey from the left corner extended UNLV's NCAA record streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 774.
On the night, Stanback has 10 points in 22 solid minutes, including four rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Two other notes of interest involve Karam Mashour and Quintrell Thomas. Thomas fouled out with seven points, but only played nine minutes. It'll be interesting to see if this leads to a shift in the starting rotation, as Thomas originally replaced Brice Massamba because of Massamba's foul troubles.
Also, Mashour shook off the nerves to score eight points on four interior buckets, including a nice layup in transition against a sticky defender. His nerves appeared to calm a bit, while his confidence visibly grew. However, before hitting the bench, he missed an open dunk attempt underneath ... whoops.
11:35, Second Half, UNLV leads 62-40
The end result of tonight's game is no longer the focal point for 'concerned' UNLV fans at the Mack.
Instead, it's the vaunted 3-point streak, which is clearly a point of pride for the knowledgeable fan base.
Each time the Rebels bring the ball up the floor against Southeastern Louisiana, the UNLV fans are calling for trey attempts. So far tonight, UNLV is 0-for-5, and hasn't attempted one in the second half.
Meanwhile, Anthony Marshall set a nice tone to start the second half, scoring the team's first three points out of the gates. He currently has a team-high 12 points to go with his five rebounds.
Halftime, UNLV leads 44-29
The flagrant foul incident involving Southeastern Louisiana's Jason Marks and UNLV's Chace Stanback may not have been the driving force behind UNLV picking things up, but they just happened to do so afterwards.
The Rebels closed the first half on a 21-8 run after Marks was ejected for an elbow to Stanback's neck, and the Lions' hot hands from the outside have significantly cooled.
Capping the half was Anthony Marshall, off of a steal, finding Justin Hawkins for a tough layup in transition.
Here are some numbers of note from the first half ...
— Brice Massamba, including a pair of mid-range jumpers, leads UNLV with nine points. Anthony Marshall and Quintrell Thomas each have seven.
— UNLV out-rebounded Southeastern Louisiana in the first half by a count of 19-12.
— Seven of the Lions' 10 field goals have come from long range, including three apiece from Brandon Fortenberry and Trent Hutchin.
— Meanwhile, UNLV has yet to hit a three, putting one of the most impressive NCAA basketball streaks in potential jeopardy. UNLV is the only program in the nation to have hit a trey in every game it's played since it was introduced in the mid-1980s. UNLV is 0-for-5 from deep.
— In his UNLV debut, Karam Mashour so far has played five minutes, but has yet to put a mark on the stat sheet.
7:40, 1st Half, UNLV leads 24-21
UNLV's energy has come and gone, but Southeastern Louisiana is simply sticking around against the Rebels.
The Lions have scored 18 of their 21 points so far via the 3-point shot, with Brandon Fortenberry and Trent Hutchin each hitting three of them.
Meanwhile, UNLV got a bit of an emotional spark at the 8:41 mark, thanks to SE La.'s Jason Marks losing his cool.
As a 15-foot jumper of Derrick Jasper's was in the air, Marks got tangled up with Chace Stanback under the hoop. Marks wound up throwing an elbow at Stanback's neck, and after a conference at the scorer's table, was ejected from the game with a flagrant foul. The two had words underneath the basket and had to be separated.
So far, Stanback, Oscar Bellfield and Brice Massamba each have four points for the Rebels. Meanwhile, Karam Mashour, fresh off of his decision not to redshirt this season, played a five-minute stretch in which he didn't record a point, rebound or stat of any kind. He also looked a bit lost on the defensive end. He'll surely get another chance tonight, and maybe it was nerves the first time around that kept him from being very visible. We'll see later on.
14:45, 1st Half, UNLV leads 10-9
The energy in the Thomas & Mack Center at the start of tonight's game against Southeastern Louisiana wasn't quite what it was last Friday night for the opener, but after an early lull on both sides, a trio of outside jumpers — two from Oscar Bellfield and one from Brice Massamba — put the Rebels up 8-1.
However, as expected, Southeastern Louisiana responded by chucking up a bevy of 3-pointers. A pair of them hit back-to-back for Brandon Fortenberry and Trent Hutchin, pulling the Lions to within a point at 10-9 at the first TV break.
The Rebels haven't been able to push the pace too much yet, and Quintrell Thomas, after an early dunk, is on the bench with two fouls.
Playing close with this team is much more dangerous than it would have been against UC Riverside. While the Highlanders had no returners from 2009-10, the Lions have experience off of a team that, remember, won 19 games a year ago. They're showing it so far.
What is UNLV's team tunnel vision like?
We're going to find out tonight for sure.
The Rebels (1-0) will play host to Southeastern Louisiana (1-0) at 7 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center in what many people would consider a tune-up of sorts before Wisconsin comes to town for a highly-anticipated Saturday matinee.
UNLV coach Lon Kruger said yesterday that he thinks all signs so far have pointed to his team maintaining focus even with one of its marquee games of the non-conference season on the horizon.
It's hard to argue with that.
Throwing out two romps in the exhibition season, the Rebels put a thorough whipping on UC Riverside last Friday night at the Mack. They won 85-41, and making it more impressive was that after securing a 23-point halftime lead, the Rebels only pushed the Highlanders harder in the game's second stanza, not letting off of the gas until the waning moments.
Tonight, they'll meet a foe that is a bit more formidable than UC Riverside, who took the floor for its first game with not one returning player from last year's roster.
As for the Lions, they have plenty back from a team that was a very respectable 19-12 last season.
The thing is, it's just hard to gauge at this point just how much of a problem they'll be for the Rebels. Southeastern's one game so far was against Division-II Millsaps. The Lions won 91-45, hardly sweating along the way.
The guy to keep an eye on will be senior guard Trent Hutchin. If he's as hot from the outside as he was against Millsaps, going 6-of-9 from 3-point range and scoring 21 points, it could keep the game competitive.
On the UNLV side, here are my three things to watch for on this fine Wednesday evening ...
— How does freshman Karam Mashour look in his likely UNLV debut? He was strong in the two exhibitions, totaling 14 points and nine boards, and Kruger said he'll probably be figured into the rotation at some point in the first half. You could tell at Tuesday's practice that the fact that Mashour is now officially a member of this year's rotation gave him a boost. He looks pretty alive over the past couple of days. Can he harness that once out on the floor?
— Carlos Lopez will likely get a tougher test from Southeastern Louisiana on the interior than he did against UC Riverside. He finished that game with five points, six boards, four assists and four blocks. He could really use another big performance as a confidence boost of sorts, as Wisconsin will present a completely different kind of challenge come Saturday.
— Oscar Bellfield needs to continue to be the team's silent assassin. He was quietly incredible on Friday night, with a team-high three 3-pointers, 15 points, four rebounds, five assists and no turnovers. The most impressive stat in there, though, is the treys. With Kendall Wallace and Matt Shaw unexpectedly gone this season, he is, percentage-wise, the Rebels' top returning 3-point shooter from a year ago (37.2 percent in 2009-10). He has to stay hot from the outside.
I'll be back after tip-off with some more, and, as always, don't forget the #unlvmbb tag to your tweets to join the in-game conversation.