Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 | 7:55 p.m.
- UNLV’s poor shooting and lapse on defense combine for loss at San Diego State
- Justin Hutson’s coaching stint at San Diego State helps prepare Rebels for conference opener
- Don’t expect the good times to stop anytime soon for UNLV basketball
- Some important dates for the remainder of the UNLV season
- These five UNLV players could impact the rest of the season
- UNLV set for Mendenhall Center grand opening on Jan. 19
- Pittsburgh transfer forward Khem Birch commits to UNLV
- UNLV basketball moves up to No. 12 in both the AP and coaches’ polls
- 2011-12 UNLV Men's Basketball Schedule
- All UNLV Men's Basketball Coverage
SAN DIEGO — Chace Stanback wrinkled up his nose at the question.
After all, why would the UNLV senior forward know what was going to happen on the final possession? Because during that final stretch, and for half of the second half Saturday, Stanback was a spectator like the other 12,414 people who packed San Diego State's Viejas Arena.
Against San Diego State, Stanback played just 24 minutes, which was his third lowest amount of minutes played this season. The other two games were double-digit victories.
The first play of the game in the Rebels' 69-67 defeat was a post-up designed for Stanback that didn’t turn into anything. For the rest of the half he quietly hit 3-of-7 shots — a pedestrian number for sure. Still, on an off afternoon, he went into halftime leading the Rebels in made baskets.
But he didn’t make any in the second half in finishing with seven points — well below his double-digit average.
Really, his only memorable play in the second half was getting his ankles broken by San Diego State’s Xavier Thames with 2:04 remaining. He was pulled for the rest of the game, with coach Dave Rice opting for defensive specialist Justin Hawkins.
“Have not lost any confidence in Chace at all,” Rice said.
Stanback’s three-game career shooting line at San Diego State is 7-for-33. This definitely wasn’t what he wanted to do in front of fans who heckled him starting an hour before the game.
“Ultimately we’ve just got to play our game, get better every day and we’ll see them again,” Stanback said.
Bellfield steps back
Senior guard Oscar Bellfield's 13-point performance in the victory against Cal State Bakersfield, it turns out, didn’t solve anything.
Bellfield had scored in the double digits in the first eight games before a long swoon that included being the only Rebel to play but not score against Central Arkansas. But after the victory against the Roadrunners on Jan. 5, Bellfield talked as if he had figured things out.
Then came Saturday’s 1-for-12 performance.
As usual, Bellfield led the team in assists and even contributed a key block with about 37 seconds left, but he became a black hole on offense.
After his first few misses, the Aztecs seemed content to give him open shots. That worked better than they could have hoped.
Add that on to Bellfield’s defensive slip-up on the final possession, and it was a tough afternoon for the Rebels point guard.
The Rebels are now 3-3 in true road games, and Saturday was the second time this season that they’ve shot under 40 percent in a game.
The other occasion was one of those other losses, a 62-51 defeat at Wisconsin on Dec. 10.
As bad as that game seemed at the time, UNLV’s shooting on Saturday was worse. At Wisconsin, the team hit 18-of-46 for 38.1 percent.
At San Diego State, the Rebels shot 24-of-68 for 35.3 percent.
For some perspective, the Aztecs achieved the same amount of made baskets in 13 fewer shots.