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UNLV’s Bennett misses practice, may miss game because of lower-back issue

Bennett missed time at Findlay Prep each of the past two seasons with the same problem. He’s leading the team in points with 19.5 per game

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Anthony Bennett warms up prior to the Rebels game against Iowa State Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012.

UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett missed practice Monday, and there’s a chance he could miss Wednesday’s game against UC Irvine, Rebels coach Dave Rice said.

Bennett is dealing with the same lower-back stiffness that forced him to miss time each of the past two seasons at Findlay Prep. He had played just more than 20 minutes in each of No. 24 UNLV’s first two games and then played more than 30 minutes on back-to-back nights against Oregon and Iowa State.

Those two things may not be directly related, though Rice said he was trying to limit Bennett’s minutes. Before the year began, Rice said athletic trainer Dave Tomchek and strength coach Jason Kabo were taking extra precautions to try to keep the big man healthy.

Bennett has been the team's leading scorer, averaging 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per game.

If Bennett can’t go on Wednesday, junior Carlos Lopez-Sosa or senior Quintrell Thomas would likely get the start, and both would be called on to play more minutes than they have been early this season. The Sun will have more on this story following this afternoon's practice, so follow reporter Taylor Bern on Twitter @TaylorBern.

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

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