LIVE GAME BLOG: Final:

UNLV thumps TCU, 94-79, setting up Saturday’s showdown with No. 6 SDSU

Stanback, Willis each score 20-plus points apiece while Thomas adds double-double

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV guards Anthony Marshall (L) and Oscar Bellfield flank coach Lon Kruger as he reacts to a foul call during their game against BYU Saturday, February 5, 2011 at BYU in Provo. BYU won 78-64.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 | 6:53 p.m.

Final, UNLV wins, 94-79

FORT WORTH, Texas — Four days after one of its worst offensive performances of the season, UNLV had one of its best in a 94-79 rout of TCU on Wednesday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Tre'Von Willis came off of the bench to lead all scorers with a season-high 23 points, while Chace Stanback tallied 24. The Rebels (18-6 overall, 6-4 Mountain West) as a team were 35-of-57 from the floor and 11-of-17 from 3-point range. Oscar Bellfield added 13 points, while Quintrell Thomas inside had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Stanback was 4-of-4 from 3-point territory, adding the highlight of one of UNLV's most blistering offensive showings of the season. The 94 points were a season-high, topping the previous mark of 92 against Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 17.

UNLV had 22 assists and only nine turnovers, and got a nice confidence-boost with its biggest remaining MWC game on the horizon. No. 6 San Diego State will come to town for a 5 p.m. contest on Saturday evening at the Thomas & Mack Center.

TCU (10-15, 1-9) was led by Valley High grad Hank Thorns Jr., who finished with 21 points and nine assists.

For full postgame coverage, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.

7:43, Second Half, UNLV leads 72-61

FORT WORTH, Texas — UNLV has remained strong from the floor, and despite a bevy of made shots by TCU early in the second half, the Rebels still hold a 72-61 lead on the host Horned Frogs.

The Rebels are shooting 50 percent after the break, but the Frogs are 11-of-19 (57.9 percent), and a couple of 3-pointers from Greg Hill have helped erase what at one point was a 20-point UNLV lead.

Tre'Von Willis leads all scorers with 19 points, and he's enjoying his best offensive night of the season. He's 7-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the outside.

Hank Thorns is doing lots of damage, too, as TCU hangs around. He has 10 points, eight assists and only one turnover. In four games now since Ronnie Moss got the hook, he now has 35 assists and only seven giveaways.

Halftime, UNLV leads 47-35

FORT WORTH, Texas — UNLV looked asleep for three minutes, then in a November-like offensive zone for the next 17. The result is a 47-35 halftime lead over TCU at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, with a crowd of maybe 500 on hand.

Tre'Von Willis leads all scorers with 12 points, while Chace Stanback has 10 and the Rebels as a team are 20-of-30 from the floor. The 66.7 percent performance is tied for UNLV's most efficient 20-minute stretch this season with the first half against Murray State in the semifinals of the 76 Classic.

The Rebels, who were just 18-of-60 on Saturday in a 14-point loss at BYU, are also 4-of-5 from 3-point range.

The biggest difference between Saturday and tonight is the visible confidence UNLV is showing on the floor, as everyone has looked aggressive at one point or another.

UNLV is also hammering away at TCU's soft interior defense, out-scoring the Frogs in the paint, 24-10. Quintrell Thomas is leading that effort with six points to go with his five rebounds.

In all, it's a confidence-building night for UNLV, who needs the pick-me-up in the worst way with a monster four-game stretch on the horizon.

Meanwhile, TCU is 11-of-26 from the floor and 4-of-11 from deep. The Rebels hold a slight rebounding edge at 15-13, and have blocked four shots.

11:04, 2nd Half, UNLV leads 20-17

FORT WORTH, Texas — As they did two weeks ago in Laramie, the Rebels were lulled to sleep early by a weak road atmosphere, and TCU grabbed a quick 9-0 lead.

But in that game, where it took a half for UNLV to get going, this time it only took a few minutes.

Lon Kruger called a timeout facing the deficit, subbed Tre'Von Willis and Justin Hawkins in for Oscar Bellfield and Anthony Marshall and the run was started.

Currently, UNLV holds a 20-14 edge on TCU, sparked by eight quick points from Willis. The senior guard was replaced in the starting lineup by Derrick Jasper after being late for a team meeting leading up to the game.

Chace Stanback got the scoring started with a trio of buckets out of that timeout, then Willis scored on a tough tip-in and hit a 3-pointer on the left wing. His second try tied the game, 17-17, then a Bellfield trey gave them their first lead of the game on the next possession.

The crowd here is of no help to TCU, who is reeling early. There are maybe 450 people in attendance on this cold night in North Texas.

UNLV is 9-of-14 from the floor and 2-of-2 from deep right now.

Pregame

FORT WORTH, Texas — What was already going to be a sleepy atmosphere tonight at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum for the game between UNLV and TCU is now much more isolated.

The game was originally slated to be shown on The Mtn. at 9:30 p.m. PST on tape delay, but inclement weather in the Dallas-Fort Worth area led to the TCU campus being shut down. As a result, the student-run broadcast of the game has been cancelled.

The Rebels (17-6 overall, 5-4 Mountain West) will have to wait for Saturday's rematch with No. 6 San Diego State to be in front of the cameras again, but the needed mindset tonight against the Horned Frogs (10-14, 1-8) hasn't changed.

UNLV will have to find a way to create its own energy in an arena that will likely not have more than 2,000 fans in it.

Don't expect the team to get out of sorts and do a bunch of hooting or hollering before the game. It just would be out of character for this group.

Instead, strong play right from jump will have to do the trick.

Here are three ways UNLV can find the flow in the early moments.

1) A key term from the last two weeks with this team has been 'inside-out.' If the Rebels can get Quintrell Thomas involved as both a facilitator and as a scorer in the earlier sequences of the game, it could open things up for everybody, creating easy looks from the outside and opportunities for others and chances to attack the basket with more ease.

2) Anthony Marshall needs to remain consistent on both ends of the floor. For the second time this season, he was the only Rebel to show some consistency against BYU. After scoring 26 points the first time around, he had 16 points, 12 boards, four assists and four steals on Saturday in Provo. He's been UNLV's rock to this point in nine league games, and that cannot change.

3) The Rebels have to pressure Hank Thorns Jr. and create some offense from their defense. Ronnie Moss committed 10 of the Frogs' 23 turnovers in an 83-49 loss at UNLV on Jan. 8. He's likely out again tonight for the fourth straight game during an indefinite suspension handed down by coach Jim Christian. Thorns, in three games since Moss hit the pine, has 27 assists and only six turnovers. If he's that efficient tonight, that alone could keep this game close.

As for a prediction tonight, I'm saying UNLV gets out of town with a 72-63 victory. My Pick to Click will be Chace Stanback, who had one of his true break-out performances of the season last year in Fort Worth.

Stay tuned for updates as the game progresses, and for more, follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/ryanmgreene. Also, to join the in-game conversation below, add the #unlvmbb tag to your in-game tweets.

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  1. Are the radio broadcasts also affected?

  2. Radio broadcasts are as usual, on ESPN 1100AM/98.9 FM

  3. Cheers, Mr. Greene.

  4. Shooting 69% right now...where was that on Saturday?!

  5. The one game I would love to see where we actually shoot well and I can't! Torture.

  6. Another perplexing, frustrating performance. yeah we're winning, but how many layups have we allowed on D? This should be a 20+ pt blowout. Whatever everyone on the radio seems happy. I noticed that after TCU went to the zone lead was reduced from 20 to 6. Chace shooting the ball much more effectively tonight.

  7. Good win on the road. Gonna have to keep this shooting up as well! Great percentages!

  8. How bout QT going 8 of 8 from the stripe. Nice! And Tre scores 23? Please tell me he's back to 2009 form...would be nice because here comes the key part of the conference sked, SDSU, AFA, then @CSU, and @UNM. Sweep those 4 and I would say we have punched our ticket...

  9. Not only is the game tape delayed, it's not shown at all. Meanwhile, Utah St. & Idaho are on ESPN2. Bishop Gorman has a better TV deal than the Rebels. The Mtn. sucks! When they do show a Rebel game it's not even in HD. It looks so bush league at a sports book up on the wall with all the other HD games. Please get us out of this nightmare deal someone!

  10. The MTN actually has an HD channel... COX just doesn't have it added to their list of channels for it's subscribers here in Vegas. I'm pretty sure all the football games are broadcast in HD as well as some Basketball games, with more to come in the future. Perhaps if we all started calling and asking that the HD version of the channel be added...

    We get CBS-C HD after all.