Published Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 | 10:26 p.m.
- Moser a game-time decision for tonight’s game in his hometown
- Stellar first half buoys No. 24 UNLV as it holds off Hawaii 77-63 at home
- Rebels work well together in 85-57 home victory against UC Irvine
- Moser’s happy on offense helping the new Rebels find their own shots
- UNLV’s Bennett misses practice, may miss game because of lower-back issue
- Rebels basketball dips in the polls after Friday’s home loss to Oregon
- ‘Mad’ Rebels get back on track with an 82-70 victory against Iowa State
- No. 18 UNLV can’t overcome its mistakes in 83-79 loss to Oregon
- All UNLV men's basketball coverage
PORTLAND, Ore. — Justin Hawkins made four 3-pointers in the second half, helping No. 21 claw out a 68-60 victory at Portland after trailing by six at halftime. Fellow seniors Anthony Marshall and Quintrell Thomas were also crucial to ensuring the Rebels won their first road game of the season. Marshall finished with 16 points, four assists and one turnover while Thomas stepped into the starting lineup for the injured Mike Moser (hip) and played solid defense while producing nine points and seven rebounds.
In the first half the only guy making a difference for UNLV was freshman Anthony Bennett, who scored the team’s first seven points and had the only made 3 while the rest of the team shot 0-for-14.
The Rebels couldn’t figure out how to attack Portland’s zone defense, shooting 24 percent from the field and settling for jumpers before ever looking to the interior.
That changed in the second half when they were able to get some penetration, though the refs were just as important. UNLV reached the double bonus with more than 13 minutes remaining. By comparison, Portland only reached seven fouls in the game’s final seconds.
The Rebels could have won by even more had they shot well at the free-throw line. UNLV was 18-for-29 compared to Portland’s 5-for-9.
Check lasvegassun.com later tonight for a full report from tonight’s game.Blog: UNLV suffers through woeful first half, trailing Portland 28-22
PORTLAND, Ore. — Playing without junior forward Mike Moser because of a hip injury, No. 21 UNLV is in trouble at Portland, trailing the Pilots 28-22 at halftime in the Chiles Center. Rebels freshman Anthony Bennett scored the team’s first seven points and finished with 11 despite limited minutes because of foul trouble.
Other than him, the Rebels haven’t been able to do a thing against Portland’s zone defense. UNLV is 8-for-33 from the floor, including 1-for-15 behind the three-point line. The Rebels are also getting outrebounded and have committed more turnovers (seven) than assists (six).
Obviously UNLV is in trouble and it’s going to take significant improvement against the zone to change that. No one has been able to get much penetration, instead settling for outside jumpers that often are far off the mark. The Rebels haven’t helped themselves inside, either, missing a few layup attempts that could have evened this game.
This rivals any of the bad road performances UNLV suffered through last year, and the fact it’s coming in the first road game against a very beatable opponent is cause for great concern.Update: Moser to miss game
Junior forward Mike Moser is in a sweater and jeans tonight as he he will miss tonight's game against Portland in his hometown. Moser wanted to give it a go but he was overruled by UNLV coaches and trainers.
Senior forward Quintrell Thomas will get the start in Moser's place.No. 21 UNLV plays first road game this season tonight at Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. — Hey, we’re in Portland, and Mike Moser is from Portland. I bet you haven’t heard that 100 times in the past week.
Obviously Moser is the dominant storyline for No. 21 UNLV, both because of the homecoming and the fact he’s a game-time decision today because of a left hip strain. The injury (plus foul trouble) kept Moser out of the final minutes of last Saturday’s 77-63 victory against Hawaii. He didn’t practice Sunday or Monday but was a limited participant in Tuesday morning’s shootaround.
That’s all known, so for the purposes of the rest of this space let’s ignore Moser altogether, because whether he plays or not a game will take place at 8 p.m. on ESPNU and the outcome will likely rest on other players.
Portland is clearly overmatched in this one. The Pilots (3-4) are 0-4 on the road, including a respectable 15-point loss at New Mexico, and 3-0 at home, though those victories came against two bottom-100 teams and a Division III school.
But let’s not forget how much No. 21 UNLV struggled nearly every time it left Las Vegas last year. This game is probably most similar to last year’s trip to Cal-State Bakersfield, an easy 32-point victory, but since it’s the first road game of the season there’s still reason to worry.
How will new pieces like Anthony Bennett, Katin Reinhardt and Bryce Dejean-Jones play without the comfort of the home crowd? Much like that Bakersfield game this doesn’t figure to be a particularly hostile crowd so it works well as an appetizer to the more difficult trips coming this month: at Cal (Sunday), at UTEP (12/17) and at North Carolina (12/29).
UNLV always wants to be disciplined on defense, but that’s especially important on the road, where shooting woes are more common. With so many new faces playing their first Rebels game away from the Thomas & Mack Center tonight it’s important UNLV set the right tone for how it will play on the road this season.
THE OTHER SIDE
Portland projected lineup
G — David Carr, 6-3, So, 4 ppg, 1 rpg, 2.7 apg
G — Kevin Bailey, 6-5, So, 11.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.7 apg
G — Korey Thieleke, 6-3, Jr, 6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 bpg
F — Ryan Nicholas, 6-7, Jr, 13. Ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.4 spg
F — Thomas van der Mars, 6-11, So, 6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1 apg
Sixth man — G, Tanner Riley, 6-3, Jr, 7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 39 3fg%
Best name: Dorian Cason, 6-7, So, F
Extra storyline: The Rebels are 2-0 all-time against Portland, with the two previous meetings coming on consecutive days in Portland in 1967.
Useless Wikipedia factoid: Portland’s total enrollment is 3,537, which would not fill the Chiles Center (4,852).
Kenpom line: UNLV -14
Vegas line: UNLV -13
Bern’s take: The road troubles last year are worrisome but I think this line is a reaction to that more than how these teams have actually performed this year. The Rebels roll. UNLV 87, Portland 60