UNLV basketball:

Quintrell Thomas leads UNLV with a season-high 15 points in loss at Wyoming

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Associated Press

Wyoming forward Leonard Washington drives against UNLV’s Quintrell Thomas (1) during their game on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012, in Laramie, Wyo.

UNLV Wyoming

Wyoming fans cheer during the Cowboys' game Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, against UNLV in Laramie, Wyo. Launch slideshow »

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Quintrell Thomas' season-high 15 points in Saturday’s 68-66 loss at Wyoming was just the most obvious example of the nice run he’s been putting together recently.

Against the Cowboys, Thomas, a junior forward, scored a team-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 5-for-6 at the free-throw line in 19 minutes. In the final seconds, he also corralled an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Mike Moser for a last-second attempt to tie the game.

“Quintrell did a terrific job all day long,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “The way they played our ball screens opened up an opportunity for (Brice) Massamba, Quintrell and Carlos (Lopez) to get some easy looks inside.”

Thomas is shooting 81.3 percent in UNLV’s past six games. Because he doesn’t always play big minutes, his contribution often gets overlooked.

But not by Rice, who has often called his trio of big men the most underrated reason for the Rebels’ success.

On Saturday, that trio combined for 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

Stanback still struggling on the road

Before today’s game, both Rice and sophomore forward Mike Moser chalked Chace Stanback's shooting woes on the road to coincidence.

That’s more difficult to believe with each passing game.

Against Wyoming, Stanback was held without a field goal (0-for-2) for the second time this season.

“Anytime something like that happens, you have to give a lot of the credit to the defense and certainly Wyoming had a good game plan,” Rice said. “And then part of it is that there are certain nights that guys don’t make shots.”

The Cowboys definitely deserve a lot of credit for their play. However, it’s hard to make shots when you only attempt two, and part of Stanback’s hesitancy may be attributed to his struggles on the road.

In four conference road games, he’s shooting 26.5 percent from the field (9-for-34). Stanback is close to a 48 percent shooter for the season, so it’s hard to accept that difference as mere coincidence.

Pace of play

A lot of opponents try to limit UNLV’s possessions, but few accomplish it as well as Wyoming did.

The Rebels attempted just 22 shots in the first half and 51 for the game, their lowest totals since an 81-63 home victory against Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 19. In that game, the Rebels didn’t need many shots as they hit 58.1 percent from the field, their third-highest total this season.

Against Wyoming, UNLV shot 49 percent on 25-of-51 from the field and committed 10 turnovers. The Rebels briefly had runs that picked up the pace of the game, but Wyoming was always able to slow it down.

“Played that slow ball that we’re not really accustomed to,” Moser said. “Credit to them for executing.”

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

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  1. At least the MWC tournament is on our home court. I wonder what the chances of hosting all rounds of the NCAA are . . . ?

    :)

    Anyway, hopefully we come out with more energy and play 40 minutes against the (Big) East Coast power San Diego State.

  2. @Louis_G Are you referring to the team who will NOT be playing basketball in the Big East? Their basketball program will be playing in the Big West.