LIVE GAME BLOG: Final:

UNLV heads into short break with 90-77 rout of Wyoming at the Mack

Rebels romp on senior night, with five scoring in double figures.

Image

Sam Morris

UNLV’S Chace Stanback slaps hands with teammate Justin Hawkins during their Mountain West Conference game against Wyoming Saturday, February 26, 2011 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Updated Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 | 9:08 p.m.

UNLV vs. Wyoming

KSNV coverage of UNLV vs. Wyoming basketball, Feb. 26, 2011.

Final, UNLV wins 90-77

Tyler Norman's scoop shot in the final minute was a fitting ending to a Senior Night romp for UNLV, who ran away from Wyoming, 90-77.

The regulars got to watch the finish from the bench after five players scored in double figures and UNLV improved to 22-7 overall and 10-5 in Mountain West play.

The Rebels are now off until next Saturday, when they'll conclude the regular season at Utah.

Chace Stanback led UNLV with 19 points to go with 11 rebounds, while senior Tre'Von Willis had 15 points and six boards in his final home game.

Also tallying 15 were junior guard Oscar Bellfield and sophomore forward Quintrell Thomas. Anthony Marshall rounded out the quintet in double-figures with 10 points.

UNLV was 31-of-56 from the floor, 7-of-17 from 3-point range and overcame a sloppy second half that saw them turn it over 15 times.

Combined with a Colorado State loss at Air Force earlier in the day, UNLV is now a half-game up on the Rams for third place in the league.

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

11:21, Second Half, UNLV leads 64-54

UNLV is just 3-of-11 from the floor with seven turnovers mid-way through the second half, which has grown sloppy after the Rebels played one of their cleanest halves of the year to start the night.

Still, the lead stands at 10 points at 64-54 over visiting Wyoming.

The Cowboys deserve some credit, as they're playing tough, but still might not be too much of a threat to climb all the way back. They're only 3-of-13 from the floor this half.

UNLV is still getting strong contributions inside on both ends from Quintrell Thomas and Chace Stanback, who right now are both chasing double-doubles. Stanback has 13 points and a game-high eight boards, while Thomas has nine and five, respectively.

Halftime, UNLV leads 54-39

UNLV kept its pace from the start up for the entire opening half, and the Rebels currently hold a 54-39 halftime edge on visiting Wyoming.

UNLV has been efficient the whole way, too, shooting a blistering 65.6 percent from the floor, going 6-of-10 from long range and committing only eight turnovers across from eight assists.

Tre'Von Willis is 5-of-6 from the floor, shooting lights out for the second game in a row in the first half, and he leads all scorers with 14 points on his Senior Night.

Meanwhile, Chace Stanback has 13 points, and Oscar Bellfield 10, including a pair of 3-point makes.

Wyoming wanted this type of pace, and has played like this in four previous games under interim coach Fred Langley. The Cowboys are 14-of-37 from the floor and just 3-of-13 underneath. The only thing keeping it relatively close is Wyoming's 13 offensive boards.

11:38, First Half, UNLV leads 25-19

UNLV looks much more energetic than many would have thought so far tonight against Wyoming off of a two-game road sweep at Colorado State and New Mexico.

The Rebels are off and running, but the pace of the game is playing into Wyoming's hands, as the Cowboys have shown a penchant for up-and-down play under interim coach Fred Langley.

Tre'Von Willis has some extra bounce tonight for UNLV. His lone bucket so far tonight is a 3-pointer from the right corner, but he threw an impressive lob up to Chace Stanback in transition that brought the larger-than-expected crowd to its feet.

UNLV is efficient and not at all sluggish tonight. So far, the Rebels are 10-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Wyoming's only advantage so far is on the glass, where the Pokes hold a 10-4 edge.

UNLV looks like it's ready to play at this pace all night. Is Wyoming?

Pregame

It's Senior Night here at the Mack, and it's been 11 days since the Rebels last took their home floor.

It's crazy, too, how much the postseason outlook for UNLV has changed since that hard-to-watch 49-42 victory over Air Force last Tuesday night.

The Rebels return home off of an impressive two game sweep away from Las Vegas, taking down Colorado State last Saturday, then New Mexico on Wednesday night in overtime, having improved to 21-7 overall and 9-5 in the Mountain West Conference.

In other words, a sense of post season doom and gloom has done a one-eighty since early last week, and UNLV appears destined to finish third in the Mountain West.

On a sidetone, their path in the Mountain West tournament, which takes place here two weeks from now, looks a little clearer now, as BYU's pet of San Diego State at Viejas Arena today looks like, if all goes by seed, the Rebels could get a third shot at the Aztecs on Friday night in the semifinals.

But if this season has taught us anything to this point, it's that there's no such thing as a sure thing.

The next item on UNLV's to-do list is taking care of struggling Wyoming (10-17, 3-10) here tonight. The Cowboys put a scare into the Rebels before bowing out last month in Laramie, 74-65.

Here are three things UNLV has to carry over from its road trip to make it happen a little easier this time around.

1) Quintrell Thomas's strong run in conference play began in Laramie, if you'll remember, when his strong second half led to a 10-point, 7-rebound night. On Wednesday at New Mexico, he had the best game of his collegiate career with 19 points and 13 boards in the 77-74 overtime triumph. The key for him all along, though, has been consistency. He has another prime opportunity to build off of something good. Can he take advantage?

2) Tre'Von Willis doesn't need to start the game 6-of-6 from the floor, but he needs to keep the sound shot selection going. Nor does he need to score 25 points a game from here on out like he did on Wednesday. He just needs to avoid making mistakes and defend. The numbers will come.

3) Anthony Marshall could use a game like he had last Saturday in Fort Collins to get back on track. He struggled on both ends of the floor in Albuquerque, and is going to need to be peaking when this team gets into the conference tournament.

As for a prediction, I'm taking UNLV to win pretty comfortable, 79-62. My Pick to Click for the Rebels is Tre'Von Willis. Haven't taken him in a while, he's got the hot hand and it's his Senior Night. He's probably due here.

Talk to you shortly after tip-off, and remember, to join in the conversation below via Twitter, add the #unlvmbb tag to your in-game tweets, or give me a follow @ryanmgreene.

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Previous Discussion: 9 comments so far…

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  1. Very impressed with how the interim coach has Wyoming playing. They are playing high pressure D and more than anything else, they are playing very hard.

  2. On a side note: the MTN commentators have been hilarious this game. First half the guy quotes A Tribe Called Quest. Second half we get a Big Daddy Kane reference. Its just awkwardly entertaining!

  3. 90 points and even offensive production throughout the line-up, gotta love that. Would have liked to see more defense from the Rebels on a bottom dweller.

    Arzent
    http://rebelsunlv.blogspot.com/

  4. MikeLange, you and other good Rebel fans weren't my target on the comments after the New Mexico game. It's the super negative people like Canes for Life and others who I was calling out. As for why I haven't posted until now, it was because I was having computer issues under my old user name. I finally had to change my user name and start over from scratch. I've been a season ticket holder for years and take the negatives with the positives. Anyway, getting back on target, good 1st half for the Rebels tonight offensively, but it would have been nice to put Wyoming away so that Martinez and Norman could have received some more playing time. Let's keep it going at Utah next week!

  5. I was probably a bit out of line calling you out anyway after that. No worries. I agree that some of those people simply look for the negative is whatever is going on with the Rebels.

    Good to see the team shoot well again. I agree it would have been nice to see Martinez and Norman get a bit more time, but I was really impressed with the effort Wyoming gave, even after we went up 20. CSU dropping to Air Force gives us third place in the conference regardless of what happens, I think. Hopefully UNM keeps their stuff together and beats out Utah for 5th. I'd rather not see UNM in the I don't think Utah can. Also have to admit I'm glad we'll be in line to play SDSU in round 2 rather than BYU. BYU looked scary good today. We essentially gave away two games to SDSU. It sure is nice to be playing for seeding in the NCAA tournament, not just an invitation.

  6. I've been telling anyone who will listen that BYU is a much better team than SDSU, and better coached. They are NOT just a one man show.

    I agree that SDSU is a favorable matchup for us in the 2nd round. If we knock them off to get to MWC championship against BYU, regardless of that result, maybe, just maybe, we get out of the 7-10 seeding and in to the 5-6 seed range. I love this time of year...

  7. I disagree, I think SDSU is still the better team. They fell into the same trap that most teams against BYU. They tried to match 3 pointers. When SDSU made the 15-2 run at the end of the half, it was all inside. They hounded Fredette all game, and Jimmer was off his game. BYU couldn't miss from three, thats what saved them, they are not going to shoot that well every game. I was hoping to see BYU in the semi's.

  8. BYU 2 SDSU 0. BYU went in to their house and destroyed them. They are the better team. Let's examine the argument you made for SDSU. They got back in the game by pounding it inside, but then went back to jacking up 3's and got worked. Sounds a lot like how we lost to SDSU. Anyone going to argue that we are a better team than SDSU right now?

    Jimmer had an "off night" and still went for 25 points or so, plus 9 assists. That's his off night and I'd take it from any one of our players on any night and that'd be a great/career night for most of them. BYU slipped up in The Pit, but the only team they've "really" been competing with in the conference this year is SDSU, and they just swept them. BYU is the better team.

    That being said, if we play like we've have been, I think we can take them. If we play like we have been, I think we'll work SDSU pretty good in the second round. If we have to get them both in the tournament, I'd rather play the team that squeaked by us twice than the team that destroyed us twice first.

  9. I understand the importance of the W. But even the announcer commented on the number of missed inside shots. As with UNLV, again SDSU lost their composure. Its insulting for Jimmer to pop 35' shots against you. But he also look like a goat numerous times in the game, shooting long and missing, turning the ball over and poor passes that led to dunks for SDSU. He was 8-23 with 5 free throws. He had numerous shots blocked that he was jawing to the refs about. I think most players who put that many shots up would get 20 points. They had davies in foul trouble with 9-10 minutes left and didn't really go back inside.
    Just as with UNLV, as a coach, sometimes you have to control the shots. I watch the UCLA BYU game, and they consistently went inside and BYU had no answer. BYU would go on a three spurt, but UCLA continued to hammer inside. Anyways its a moot point, I'm voting a BYU #1 seed and make tournament history as the first #1 to fall.