Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 | 9:15 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporters Taylor Bern and Ray Brewer discuss the UNLV basketball team's double-digit victory against New Mexico and take a look at the Rebels' two games next week.
Once again, UNLV (18-3, 2-1) turned a close game into a rout, charging past New Mexico in the second half and winning 80-63. Mike Moser got his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Anthony Marshall and Chace Stanback each poured in 13.
The Rebels led by four at halftime, but a quick run and a slew of Lobos turnovers put the game out of hand rather quickly. New Mexico's defense couldn't keep up with the transitions and once the run started, they couldn't find a counter-punch that would stop the bleeding.
UNLV goes on the road next week with games at Boise State and Air Force. Their troubles this year have come away from the Mack, but this victory has to give them a good feeling heading into those games.
Check back on lasvegassun.com later tonight for full coverage of the game.Rebels run out to a 71-52 lead against New Mexico with 7:22 remaining
New Mexico doesn't have any answer for the Rebels in transition as UNLV has run its way to a 71-52 lead with 7:22 remaining. Anthony Marshall and Carlos Lopez each have 13 points, while Mike Moser has got 12 points and seven rebounds.
It took about 10 minutes in the first half for UNLV begin getting its run outs. Once they did, New Mexico got caught watching the race and couldn't take care of the ball well enough to prevent it from happening. The Lobos now have 20 turnovers, compared to just 11 for UNLV.
The Rebels evened up the rebounding game in the second half and are shooting 54 percent from the field. With UNLV in the double bonus at the free-throw line, it will be almost impossible for the Lobos to erase their deficit with the time remaining.UNLV opens up a 51-41 lead against New Mexico with 15:41 remaining
UNLV came out firing in the second half and have opened up a 51-41 lead with 15:36 remaining. Anthony Marshall has nine points, seven assists and five rebounds.
The Rebels are playing up to their desired speed and already have forced 13 New Mexico turnovers. If they keep the lead around 10, then the Lobos will be forced to play out of their style in order to catch up, which could create even more turnovers and run outs.The Rebels take a 39-35 lead into halftime against New Mexico
UNLV has created the type of game that it wants to play, forcing New Mexico into mistakes and turning them into crowd-erupting points at the other end. At halftime, the Rebels lead 39-35.
Anthony Marshall is keeping up his stellar offensive play of late, but a big reason for the Rebels' offensive success has been the surprise play of Justin Hawkins. He's got eight points, including two 3-pointers, and seems really dialed in with his teammates. He's also been one of the catalysts for pumping up the crowd in the first half.
It's not all good news for the Rebels, though. Carlos Lopez has three fouls and the Lobos' interior duo of A.J. Hardeman and Drew Gordon are getting what they want near the basket. They've combined for 14 points and eight rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds. As a team the Lobos have 13 offensive rebounds, which is only two less than UNLV's total.
In the second half, the Rebels have to start with pushing the Lobos around under the basket to keep them from dominating the glass. Of course, doing too much with that leaves UNLV vulnerable on the perimeter, where Kendall Williams and Tony Snell have combined for 19 points. The key is going to be limiting the Lobos' interior dominance and continuing to run out on offense.
If the Rebels keep up the speed, they should be able to pull out the victory.Rebels start creating turnovers, tied with Lobos at 21 in the first half
UNLV has started to figure things out defensively, jumping into passing lanes and creating turnovers that have turned into easy baskets. The Rebels are tied at 21 with 7:52 left in the first half.
Mike Moser and Anthony Marshall are leading the way with four points each, and Marshall also has three steals. For the Lobos, Kendall Williams has eight points, all from the outside, and A.J. Hardeman has six points, all on the inside. Their proficiency thus far is definitely a worry, but in the last few minutes UNLV has created the type of game that they want to play. Already the Lobos have eight turnovers.
If New Mexico's going to pull they upset, it can't afford to keep up that pace.UNLV down 9-7 early at home against New Mexico
Just as UNLV coach Dave Rice figured, New Mexico has come out of the gates with a lot of energy, determined to put their 75-70 loss to San Diego State behind them. The Lobos have a 9-7 lead with 15:23 left in the first half.
UNLV's Chace Stanback got started with a 3-pointer from the corner and Mike Moser corralled one of his own misses and put it back in. Defensively, the Rebels look a bit lost. The Lobos have easily penetrated into the lane, creating opportunities at the basket as well as kick-outs to Kendall Williams, who has five points.
This is the best home environment that the team has had this season and they need to use that to their advantage. Get a couple of stops and transition buckets, and this place will erupt.The Rebels face a big challenge at home against New Mexico
The Rebels’ blistering start in Wednesday’s 101-78 victory against TCU was the result of taking out their frustrations after a loss. That’s exactly the type of energy No. 14 UNLV (17-3, 1-1) can expect from New Mexico (15-3, 1-1) tonight at 7:15.
The Lobos, the preseason pick to win the conference, got upset by San Diego State on Wednesday. Now the Rebels and Lobos are playing to keep pace with the Aztecs, and New Mexico is trying to avoid a two-game losing streak.
The stakes are high early in the Mountain West season.
The keys to victory for UNLV start with neutralizing Lobos forward Drew Gordon. Against a similar team earlier this year (Illinois), the Rebels double-teamed the post and then switched up their look throughout the game.
Coach Dave Rice said he’s hesitant to pull anybody away from the perimeter to help out on Gordon, but that may be the best way to shut him down, at least early on.
Besides that, UNLV’s perimeter players must close out with their hands up and remember their defensive assignments. Poor close outs were a big problem in losses to Wichita State and Wisconsin, and a blown switch on defense allowed the Aztecs’ Jamaal Franklin to get the winning shot last weekend.
Of course, all three of those losses were on the road. At home, the Rebels have the crowd on their side, which helps turn slim leads into routs. They need to match the Lobos’ intensity and use the Mack to their advantage.
Bern’s prediction: The Lobos got embarrassed at home. They will be looking to hit the Rebels in the mouth and trying to take the crowd out of the game. But UNLV won’t let it happen. The Rebels’ Anthony Marshall is on a roll, and if the game is close down the stretch he’ll be able to take it over. UNLV 78, New Mexico 70.