Rebels basketball:

Final: Hawkins’ 3s and a lot of free throws key UNLV to 68-60 win at Portland

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

UNLV forward Mike Moser, second from right, sits on the bench in street clothes with teammates during a game against Portland in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.

Updated Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 | 10:26 p.m.

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UNLV guard Anthony Marshall, left, goes to the basket past Portland guard David Carr during the first half of a game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Justin Hawkins made four 3-pointers in the second half, helping No. 21 claw out a 68-60 victory at Portland after trailing by six at halftime. Fellow seniors Anthony Marshall and Quintrell Thomas were also crucial to ensuring the Rebels won their first road game of the season. Marshall finished with 16 points, four assists and one turnover while Thomas stepped into the starting lineup for the injured Mike Moser (hip) and played solid defense while producing nine points and seven rebounds.

In the first half the only guy making a difference for UNLV was freshman Anthony Bennett, who scored the team’s first seven points and had the only made 3 while the rest of the team shot 0-for-14.

The Rebels couldn’t figure out how to attack Portland’s zone defense, shooting 24 percent from the field and settling for jumpers before ever looking to the interior.

That changed in the second half when they were able to get some penetration, though the refs were just as important. UNLV reached the double bonus with more than 13 minutes remaining. By comparison, Portland only reached seven fouls in the game’s final seconds.

The Rebels could have won by even more had they shot well at the free-throw line. UNLV was 18-for-29 compared to Portland’s 5-for-9.

Check lasvegassun.com later tonight for a full report from tonight’s game.

Blog: UNLV suffers through woeful first half, trailing Portland 28-22

PORTLAND, Ore. — Playing without junior forward Mike Moser because of a hip injury, No. 21 UNLV is in trouble at Portland, trailing the Pilots 28-22 at halftime in the Chiles Center. Rebels freshman Anthony Bennett scored the team’s first seven points and finished with 11 despite limited minutes because of foul trouble.

Other than him, the Rebels haven’t been able to do a thing against Portland’s zone defense. UNLV is 8-for-33 from the floor, including 1-for-15 behind the three-point line. The Rebels are also getting outrebounded and have committed more turnovers (seven) than assists (six).

Obviously UNLV is in trouble and it’s going to take significant improvement against the zone to change that. No one has been able to get much penetration, instead settling for outside jumpers that often are far off the mark. The Rebels haven’t helped themselves inside, either, missing a few layup attempts that could have evened this game.

This rivals any of the bad road performances UNLV suffered through last year, and the fact it’s coming in the first road game against a very beatable opponent is cause for great concern.

Update: Moser to miss game

Junior forward Mike Moser is in a sweater and jeans tonight as he he will miss tonight's game against Portland in his hometown. Moser wanted to give it a go but he was overruled by UNLV coaches and trainers.

Senior forward Quintrell Thomas will get the start in Moser's place.

No. 21 UNLV plays first road game this season tonight at Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — Hey, we’re in Portland, and Mike Moser is from Portland. I bet you haven’t heard that 100 times in the past week.

Obviously Moser is the dominant storyline for No. 21 UNLV, both because of the homecoming and the fact he’s a game-time decision today because of a left hip strain. The injury (plus foul trouble) kept Moser out of the final minutes of last Saturday’s 77-63 victory against Hawaii. He didn’t practice Sunday or Monday but was a limited participant in Tuesday morning’s shootaround.

That’s all known, so for the purposes of the rest of this space let’s ignore Moser altogether, because whether he plays or not a game will take place at 8 p.m. on ESPNU and the outcome will likely rest on other players.

Portland is clearly overmatched in this one. The Pilots (3-4) are 0-4 on the road, including a respectable 15-point loss at New Mexico, and 3-0 at home, though those victories came against two bottom-100 teams and a Division III school.

But let’s not forget how much No. 21 UNLV struggled nearly every time it left Las Vegas last year. This game is probably most similar to last year’s trip to Cal-State Bakersfield, an easy 32-point victory, but since it’s the first road game of the season there’s still reason to worry.

How will new pieces like Anthony Bennett, Katin Reinhardt and Bryce Dejean-Jones play without the comfort of the home crowd? Much like that Bakersfield game this doesn’t figure to be a particularly hostile crowd so it works well as an appetizer to the more difficult trips coming this month: at Cal (Sunday), at UTEP (12/17) and at North Carolina (12/29).

UNLV always wants to be disciplined on defense, but that’s especially important on the road, where shooting woes are more common. With so many new faces playing their first Rebels game away from the Thomas & Mack Center tonight it’s important UNLV set the right tone for how it will play on the road this season.

THE OTHER SIDE

Portland projected lineup

G — David Carr, 6-3, So, 4 ppg, 1 rpg, 2.7 apg

G — Kevin Bailey, 6-5, So, 11.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.7 apg

G — Korey Thieleke, 6-3, Jr, 6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 bpg

F — Ryan Nicholas, 6-7, Jr, 13. Ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.4 spg

F — Thomas van der Mars, 6-11, So, 6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1 apg

Sixth man — G, Tanner Riley, 6-3, Jr, 7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 39 3fg%

Best name: Dorian Cason, 6-7, So, F

Extra storyline: The Rebels are 2-0 all-time against Portland, with the two previous meetings coming on consecutive days in Portland in 1967.

Useless Wikipedia factoid: Portland’s total enrollment is 3,537, which would not fill the Chiles Center (4,852).

Kenpom line: UNLV -14

Vegas line: UNLV -13

Bern’s take: The road troubles last year are worrisome but I think this line is a reaction to that more than how these teams have actually performed this year. The Rebels roll. UNLV 87, Portland 60

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. Here we go. A great play to start followed by reckless gunning from 3 with no effort go inside!

  2. The basketball IQ of the Rebs is sometimes non-existent. Still gunning and whenn it goes inside, Lopez cant catch it.

  3. Come on rebels....

    2nd foul for Bennett......... Mike Moser needs a break thats why hes out this game, come on young guys step up, and earn some time off that bench!

  4. Running Bennett vs The Pilots....

    Whew Bennett is going to score 50 points tonight if the others don't help out. ;)

    I have faith this is just chemistry and gel problems and can be fixed by halftime.

  5. These Rebels could quite possibly be the dumbest, laziest and softest team in the country. This Portland team is awful. Absolutely embarrasing performance so far.

  6. Where are all the final four and championship people at. Average team at best and I can't quit laughing when I hear how Moser and Marshall are tuning up for the NBA. Moser has a 50/50 shot to ride an NbA bench but Marshall won't even play in the D league.

  7. Zone these chumps

  8. See the fans and nonfans have come out to enjoy the game... UNLV up by 7.. right now...

    UNLV will win... they have glued...

  9. Someone explain to my green basketball mind. How is it the taller, longer, more athletic team gets out rebounded when playing man defense?

  10. Tm - If I am not a fan then why am I getting so damn mad? Would be alot easier for me if I did not care. Looking like we will separate and more dumb turnovers again. Will be extremely lucky to win this one.

  11. Wow tm way to go out on a limb unlv will beat Portland that's something to be proud of now add in the barely and ill raise your IQ to 7.

  12. I have no problem with people rooting for the rebels what I have a problem with is most of the people that post are clueless about the game and are chasing rainbows talking about unlv and final four my apologies there is no pill for stupid therefore dream on

  13. Wow! This team is very reckless and can't shoot from the outside. Lopez-Sosa or whatever his name is these days is nothing but a tattooed thug. He has no basketball skills and gives UNLV that "hired from the neck down stereotype" with his less than intelligent play. The MWC is a very good conference and I believe the Rebels are in the middle of the pack at best. From what I seen against Oregon at home and now Portland on the road, they are overhyped. They will have a very hard time on the road in conference play.

  14. Solid second half and a good win on the road without Moser on the court. Go Rebels!

  15. UNLV was very lucky to pull this one out. Seven games into the season and they still haven't figured it out. Carlos looks absolutely lost out there, he is too soft. I'm not impressed with Bryce Jones too erratic. Mr. Rice just can't seem to get these guys to gel or instill a sense 40 minute basketball play. I would be willing to contribute to send Mr. Rice to a coaching clinic. This is not a final four team, time to wake up.

    Go Hoosiers...

  16. Coach Rice needs to take away the green light from BDJ until he gets his act together on defense. He seems preoccupied with trying to get shots off.

    Anyway, good win. Glad to see them hang tough and fight through.

  17. The game crew had its analysis dead on: the Rebels settle for quick deep shots early in the shot clock after one pass without even trying to work for a better shot despite the deep shot being there anytime. BDJ and Reinhardt were he'll bent on taking over the game by jacking up long threes all night. Maybe Coach Rice can try to limit his system by coaching teamwork. This team is so inconsistent, moving from sharing the ball and finding the open player, to selfish "gonna get mine" play the next game. Can't win if everyone turns into JR Smith.

  18. Mike, have you ever heard of boxing out?

  19. I laugh at the people who have already written this team off. It's only December, and they essentially have a new roster. Half of their rotation is newcomers. Also, it was the first road game for about half of the rotation.

    The team still has a long ways to go, but the ceiling is so high. They don't even have of all their pieces yet. Khem Birch is 12 days away.

  20. "Also, it was the first road game for about half of the rotation" Wrong, Canada is not the Thomas and Mack last time I checked. They also had a scrimage at UCLA.