|Rebels trample Redbirds 82-51|
|Written by Ashley Schrader, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 02 December 2010 00:10|
The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels ran right over the ISU men’s basketball team in a dominating 82-51 Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge victory, to hand the Redbirds their 21st-straight loss to a ranked team Wednesday night at Redbird Arena.
Despite all Redbird efforts, UNLV (7-0) pressure and depth held ISU (5-2) down in front of a crowd of 6,485, proving just how well the No. 23 ranked team can play.
“[The Rebels] don’t let you run anything you want to run, that’s their goal,” ISU head coach Tim Jankovich said. “They disrupt everything, so they turn the game into, for a lack of better words, a street-ball game.”
Although ISU started out with a 6-2 lead, thanks to paint performances from senior Tony Lewis and sophomore Jackie Carmichael, the Rebels quickly responded with a 13-2 run to steal the lead 15-8 with 12:09 left in the first half.
After an ISU glimmer of hope with Carmichael dunking over UNLV defenders, the Rebels’ lead only grew larger.
UNLV added 17 points to the scoreboard, building its lead the largest of the game on a pair of free throws from UNLV’s Tre’von Willis. The Rebels ended the half with a 39-22 lead.
The 39 points allowed by the Redbirds were the most given up in a half this season.
“I knew we were ready to play, and of course we got off to a good start. What happened to us in this game was we went 0-for-11 from three [in the first half],”Jankovich said.
“We made [what felt like] zero shots in the first half. Had we just had an okay shooting night I feel like we would have been right there at the half,” he added.
The Redbirds, who average 12 turnovers per game, racked up 12 turnovers in the first half alone, in addition to going 10-for-26 from the field.
As ISU turnovers grew, due to strong UNLV pressure in the press, and baskets refrained from going in the for the Redbirds, the Rebels doubled the ISU’s score, 50-25, just three minutes into the second half.
UNLV showed supremacy as the clock clicked down adding points to the board, but ISU stuck together as a team and remained giving it its all, scoring a total of 29 points in the second half.
“[ISU] certainly didn’t quit,” Jankovich said. “It’s hard when nothing’s going right for you to have a lot of enthusiasm. In the big picture I hope this motivates us. I hope this motivates our guys to realize we could have done a lot better had we been a little more advanced.”
While the ‘Birds average 34 points from their bench, UNLV held ISU to only 13 bench points. The Rebels also held them to 16.7 percent from behind the arc and 36.4 percent in field goal percentage. The Redbirds additionally turned the ball over a season-high of 16 times.
Senior Austin Hill led the Redbirds in points with 15, while Carmichael followed with 11 points. Lewis racked up a team-high eight boards and freshman Jon Ekey recorded three blocks.
“I think we’ll be alright, we’ll bounce back,” Hill said. “We’ve got a tough team and we’re young. This was just a learning experience that’s all.”
The Redbirds return to Doug Collins Court Saturday to face Montana State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.