rebels basketball:

Blog: Rebels down Cal State Fullerton 83-64, enter league play on six-game winning streak

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L.E. Baskow

UNLV’s Roscoe Smith warms up before the start of the game versus Cal-State Fullerton on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013.

Updated Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 | 9 p.m.

UNLV vs. Cal State Fullerton

Hey Reb fires off his guns at the start of the UNLV versus Cal State Fullerton game on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. Launch slideshow »
UNLV 83, Cal State Fullerton 64 —Final

Bryce Dejean-Jones had a game-high 19 points and three other Rebels scored in double figures, helping the UNLV basketball team win its sixth straight game with a 83-64 victory against visiting Cal-State Fullerton.

Roscoe Smith recorded his ninth double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Kevin Olekaibe finished with 12 points, making 4 of 7 on 3-pointers.

UNLV opened the game on a 9-0 scoring run and never trailed, leading 39-27 at halftime and growing the advantage to as many as 26 points in the second half.

This was the final nonleague game for Rebels (9-4), which open Mountain West play New Year’s Day at Fresno State.

Check back later for more coverage.

UNLV 39, Cal State Fullerton 27 — Halftime

Bryce Dejean-Jones and Kevin Olekaibe each have nine first-half points for the UNLV basketball team, which leads Cal State Fullerton 39-27 at halftime in the final nonleague game of the season.

The Rebels are having one of their best outside shooting games of the season, connecting of 6 of 9 first-half 3-pointers. Olekaibe is 3 of 4 from the outside.

UNLV has led from start to finish, opening the game on a 9-0 run and forcing Fullerton into 37-percent shooting and seven turnovers.

Pregame

The UNLV basketball team is a 14-point betting favorite tonight against visiting Cal State Fullerton in the final nonleague game before Mountain West play next week.

That means the Rebels (8-4), who have won their past five games, should extend their streak and enter league play feeling pretty good about themselves.

They’ve found their mojo offensively, averaging 82 points per game during the five wins and four times scoring more than 80 points. And, just like the past five opponents, Cal State Fullerton (5-7) isn’t expected to put up much of a fight.

Some are cautiously optimistic about the Rebels’ improvements because of the quality of the opponents they have faced in winning five straight by an average of 22 points. Beating up on Southern Utah, Radford and Sacred Heart doesn’t exactly build the NCAA Tournament resume.

But there is no debating the Rebels have worked through some of their early-season struggles offensively. There is more flow to the offense and fewer bad decisions, and shots — especially outside shots — are falling at a more regular rate.

We’ll see if those trends continue tonight against Cal State Fullerton. I’ll keep everyone posted once the game begins, coming off the bench for my colleague Taylor Bern — he’s in Dallas with the football Rebels.

Brewer’s prediction: Bern is a master when it comes to handicapping UNLV games in this blog space with a 9-3 against-the-spread record for the season. Like the Rebels, I’ll try my best to continue the hot streak. I like UNLV to post another lopsided victory. UNLV 83, CSF 64.

 

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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