Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011 | 12:45 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011 | 3:05 p.m.
Final, BYU wins, 78-64
PROVO, Utah — UNLV didn't get a heavy dose of Jimmer Fredette, but the Rebels were instead beaten mostly by the BYU star's supporting cast.
Fredette scored 29 points and became the Mountain West's all-time scoring leader in the process, but 15 points from Jackson Emery and an unexpected 12 from reserve forward Stephen Rogers helped do UNLV in in 78-64 fashion.
Saturday's loss at the Marriott Center drops UNLV to 17-6 overall and 5-4 in the Mountain West, while No. 8 BYU is now 22-2 and 8-1, respectively.
Anthony Marshall was the only Rebel to have a strong all-around game, scoring 16 points to go with 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals. He helped in the effort to defend Fredette, which wasn't bad for much of the game. Most of the All-American guard's damage was done at the free throw line, where he was 16-of-16. Fredette only scored six field goals on the afternoon.
UNLV was killed by 18-of-60 shooting, including a combined 4-of-22 from Tre'Von Willis and Oscar Bellfield. The Rebels were 6-of-23 from 3-point range.
The team will fly home on Saturday night, then turn around quickly and head to Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, where they'll take on TCU.
For full postage coverage, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.
11:58, Second Half, BYU leads 51-42
PROVO, Utah — You've got to give UNLV a bit of credit for fighting back yet again after falling down by 15 to BYU early in the second half.
With just under 12 minutes left, the Rebels trail the Cougars by nine, 51-42. Anthony Marshall has provided the pulse here in the second half for UNLV, as he's so far posted 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Back in the game now for UNLV is Carlos Lopez, who surprisingly came back after hurting his right hand in the first half. He has his index and middle fingers on his right hand taped together, but since coming back scored off of a beautiful spin move between two defenders and also provided a block.
UNLV is still getting open outside looks against BYU's 2-3 zone defense, but needs to get hot soon. Oscar Bellfield has been cold most of the night and could use a couple of makes in the worst way.
Halftime, BYU leads 38-27
PROVO, Utah — Jimmer Fredette isn't killing UNLV with his ability to drain 25-foot 3-pointers, but instead with his efficiency at the free throw line.
Fredette leads all scorers so far with 13 points, but is just 2-of-6 from the floor and 0-for-2 from deep. He is 9-of-9 from the free throw line, hitting four technical tries and five more late in the half.
Meanwhile, UNLV is just 8-of-31 from the floor and 3-of-12 from 3-point range, having a tough time also dissecting BYU's 2-3 zone defense.
Tre'Von Willis's foul total was somewhere reduced from three to two, which means that his second call was probably changed at some point. He leads UNLV with 10 points.
What's hurting UNLV on the other end is Fredette's supporting cast. Stephen Rogers came off of the bench in place of foul-ridden Brandon Davies and got five points and four boards in just eight minutes. In that regard, it's eerily similar to UNLV's loss last year in Provo, where Fredette was slowed with mono.
It'll be interesting to see if UNLV tries to go inside-out again, especially now that Carlos Lopez appears to be done for the day with a right thumb injury suffered late in the first half.
One thing UNLV has to do is get its composure back. The Rebels are spending a lot of time arguing foul calls, and one of their two technical fouls was a result of that.
9:50, First Half, BYU leads 18-14
PROVO, Utah — Mid-way through the first half, we've already seen plenty of fireworks here at the Marriott Center.
UNLV's Quintrell Thomas and Carlos Lopez have each been called for technical fouls in a heated atmosphere, while on the other end, the Rebels haven't let Jimmer Fredette kill them to this point.
Fredette has eight points while being heavily blanketed by a series of UNLV defenders, and four of those points have come from the free throw line following the techs.
UNLV trails 18-14, but it could be much worse. The Rebels were down 18-8 following an 11-0 BYU run, which included seven free throws and a couple of uncontested buckets.
Getting UNLV back into the game were 3-pointers on consecutive possessions from Tre'Von Willis and Chace Stanback, snapping a cold start for the team from the perimeter.
Willis is playing with two fouls after picking up two in the early minutes, while Brandon Davies has two for the Cougars.
PROVO, Utah — Walk into the Marriott Center, and you quickly realize that Jimmer Fredette is basically John Lennon in these parts.
About 70 percent of the packed student section is wearing at least something Jimmer-related, and the BYU star guard even took a break from warm-ups a few minutes ago to sign some autographs.
And this will be one of his most highly-anticipated shows of the year, as he leads the No. 8 Cougars (21-2, 7-1) against UNLV (17-5, 5-3) for the second time this season today at 1 p.m.
The Marriott Center will be rocking, and it's typically spelled trouble for UNLV in recent trips up to Provo. For the foreseeable future, this is the Rebels' last trip here, with BYU headed to the WCC next season.
Fredette, as you may remember, exploded for 39 points against the Rebels on Jan. 5 in an 89-77 BYU blowout, exorcising a career filled with demons at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Here's a few key things to watch tonight in the first game of the MWC season's second half for both teams …
1) It sounds like Tre'Von Willis will defend Fredette for as long as humanly possible. How does the UNLV senior hold up? Throughout his career, he's seen more success than failure against Fredette, but in the first meeting was hampered by right knee soreness. Now he's healthier. Can he get back to being Fredette's MWC kryptonite?
2) UNLV's big men had their best game of the season against Utah on Wednesday night, with Quintrell Thomas and Carlos Lopez combining for 29 points and 25 rebounds. BYU's Brandon Davies played like a man in the first meeting with UNLV. This should be an up-and-down affair, but a good x-factor to watch is which team's big men are more productive.
3) Jackson Emery needs to have a strong offensive day for BYU to be successful, plain and simple. He did whatever he wanted to in the first meeting, scoring 22 points and hitting six trifectas. In a loss at New Mexico last Saturday, he was invisible. Superman needs a wingman.
As for a prediction, I'm giving BYU a slight edge, but my confidence in this pick is thin. I'll say Cougars, 77-72. My Pick to Click for UNLV is Anthony Marshall. His 26 points in the last meeting were no fluke. This is a good match-up for a guard with his skill set.
I'll talk to you more after tip-off. To join in the conversation below, add the #unlvmbb tag to your tweets, and also give me a follow at twitter.com/ryanmgreene for constant updates on the action here at the Marriott Center.