Rebels basketball:

Marshall leads UNLV to the finish line in resilient victory against Boise State

Senior point guard makes the right plays to help Rebels battle back while Katin Reinhardt hits the dagger in a 68-64 victory

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV guard Anthony Marshall reacts after making a basket and drawing a fifth foul on Boise State’s Derrick Marks during their game Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV won the game 68-64.

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UNLV guard Katin Reinhardt launches the three point shot that would seal their game against Boise State Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV won the game 68-64.

UNLV vs. Boise State: March 5, 2013

Hey Reb walks off with UNLV guard Katin Reinhardt after the Rebels knocked off Boise State 68-64 Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

Breaking down the brackets

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CBSSports.com's Jeff Borzello joins Las Vegas Sun reporter Taylor Bern to discuss UNLV's seeding possibilities in Part One, and then at the 15:30 mark Taylor is joined by SI.com's Andy Glockner who offers his insight to the Mountain West's collective standing as we approach tournament time. All rights for the intro, outro and intermission music to alt-J, so go buy their album.

Anthony Marshall’s regular season finale as a Rebel isn’t for a few more days when Fresno State comes to the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday afternoon. If he could choose, though, Marshall would likely handpick Tuesday night’s performance as the one he wants UNLV fans to remember once he’s gone.

It didn’t contain the singular highlight of the game-winning jumper against Colorado State or the big dunk last year against North Carolina. What his game did feature was an all-around performance that should be admired for the decisions he made (read: great passes) more than the shots he made.

With the Rebels (23-7, 10-5) trailing Boise State (20-9, 8-7) by 10 and about nine minutes left, Marshall entered full takeover mode. He had a direct hand in 15 of the Rebels’ final 31 points, scoring eight himself and dishing out three assists.

Katin Reinhardt’s surge after missing his first seven shots included the decisive blow, a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left that bounced off the front rim, hit the backboard and dropped in, but Reinhardt and the Rebels aren’t in that position without Marshall.

“I tried to do whatever we needed,” said Marshall, who finished with 16 points, five rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers in 37 minutes.

His only missed shot was in the first half and Marshall put the Rebels ahead for good with 3:20 left when he moved left to right across the lane and hit a layup while drawing a fifth foul on Derrick Marks, the Broncos’ second-leading scorer. Marshall would hit the free throw, part of a 16-for-17 second-half effort at the free-throw line for the Rebels, who were the benefactors of a decided home-court fouls advantage.

UNLV finished 22-for-28 while Boise State was 7-of-10. Part of that, though, was by design. The Broncos were 13-for-25 on 3-point attempts, a mark you rarely see in a loss. And the Rebels knew the smaller lineup would give them a chance to make plays in the lane.

“I felt like this was a team we could really attack the rim against,” Marshall said.

Although UNLV’s Khem Birch started the game at center, coach Dave Rice quickly went to a smaller lineup that would be commonplace the rest of the game. Anthony Bennett, who finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, played a lot of center, sometimes with Justin Hawkins at power forward.

That only did so much, though, as Boise State started the game on a 7-0 run, and after a swoon midway through the second half, it finished above 50 percent behind the three-point line thanks mostly to Jeff Elorriaga (19 points).

As the Rebels tried to make their charge for the win, Elorriaga countered with three straight 3-pointers that didn’t touch the rim, the last one a dead-on bank shot. That put the Broncos up by six before Marshall eventually carried the Rebels over the top.

“There are a lot of teams on a night like tonight … that probably would have chalked it up and said it’s not our night,” Rice said. “But we’re not that way.”

The Rebels missed a ton of open looks the whole game. Hawkins, who’s now 0-for-24 on 3-point attempts his last 11 games, missed multiple layups while Mike Moser on one possession with about 15 minutes left missed three straight shots right at the rim. The possession eventually ended with a Reinhardt turnover, the last any Rebel would commit for the game. That was another big key as UNLV finished with just 10 turnovers.

Other than individual performances — Bryce Dejean-Jones was great at both ends, finishing with 16 points and five assists with no turnovers while Reinhardt scored 11, all in the second half — the biggest takeaways for the Rebels were how resilient they played down the stretch and the control they maintained while the Broncos continued to drop in 3-pointers.

“Never a time in the huddle that our guys didn’t think we were going to win the game,” Rice said.

Reinhardt said his coaches and teammates kept telling him to shoot despite all his early misfires. On Reinhardt’s dagger 3-pointer, Hawkins caught the ball in the corner off a dribble-drive. Not long ago Hawkins probably takes that shot, but Tuesday he made one more pass to the wing where Reinhardt said it felt great off his hand.

“I knew it was going in,” said Reinhardt, fortuitous bounce be damned.

Eventually, Rice said, he wants the Rebels to be the ones dictating matchups to their opponents, not the other way around. That day isn’t here yet, though, and even with the smaller, quicker lineup the Broncos still tied Canisius for the most made 3-pointers against UNLV this season.

What is here is the requisite fight from the Rebels to win a game Marshall said he didn’t think the team would have won earlier this season. With just more than a minute left Marshall fouled out another Bronco, Anthony Drmic (22 points), on a drive to the basket.

Marshall’s relentless attacks and good decision-making were the biggest keys to a fifth straight victory that moves the Rebels into sole possession of second place in the Mountain West, at least for a day. On Saturday he’ll try to do it again for win No. 6.

“I’m just trying to cherish these last couple of home games I’ve got,” Marshall said.

This was a good way to start.

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

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  1. Way to hang in there rebels. We need hard fought wins like this and I'm glad we came out on the other side with a win.

  2. Nice finish, Rebels! Keep on doing it, right through March.

  3. Its been a real pleasure to watch the development of Anthony Marshall over these 4 years. I can't recall a player improving as much as he has during his time at UNLV. Even as recent as last year he could always get to the rim, he just couldn't finish and was not a good FT shooter. Now he finishes just about every time and hits those FTs when we need them.

    Its also great to see a senior actually close out his final year strong. After 3 straight disappointments from the senior leader on the team (Wink, Willis, Stanback) its great to see this from AM. Add on the fact that its a local kid makes it more special.

  4. thethemike - Great point on AM. You are so right about some disappointing ends to great careers with the three you mentioned. I will be very interested to see what happens next year at the lead guard spot. There have been many who have complained that AM not being a true point guard has been a detriment to the team. It is very possible that next year the same people will be complaining about Cook and/or Kendrick not running the team as Anthony has. The kid is a warrior and seems to have a great sense of when to be aggressive and offensive minded, and when to be submissive and get others involved. He may not be a "true" point guard but I would bet you if you asked the other coaches in the MWC if they wish he was their point guard, they would jump at the chance. Rebs will have a tough time replacing all that he gives us. For now we can just hope that he ends his career with a MWC tourney championship and a nice little run into the NCAA's. He certainly deserves it.

  5. It's kinda amazing how many "fans" have disappeared from the lvsun comment section during this mini win-streak.

    I'm really happy to see Marshall be successful and I hope he continues to get better and lead the team.

    The one weird thing I've noticed this year, and it was definitely highlighted last night, is Justin Hawkins offensive game. He's always been a poor FG% guy but I think he's 1 for 30 in his last 30 3 pt attempts I think? And his layup percentage is probably under 50% with 2 wide open misses last night(I'm guessing on this). I know that he brings a lot to the team on defense, but I feel like he should have 0 FG attempts a game at this point, especially with all the other scorers on the team.

  6. Didn't see the game so can't offer any informed opinions about it, but I can say that even with our win streak and obvious groove that we've found, I must admit that I was a little worried that we might lose this one. Boise State has proven themselves to be a scrappy squad and I have much respect for them.

    I was pretty busy last night and don't live in Vegas anymore, so I went to bed early not knowing whether we won or not. First thing I did when I woke up was check to see if we won. For those who saw the game, seeing our boys down by 10 at home must have been brutal. Glad we pulled it off though.

    Last (slightly-related) thing: I have been wearing a black hoodie with bold red UNLV on front all winter up here in Seattle and over the last month I have had multiple people yell "Rebels" or similar on the street and people on the train have asked me about the team-slash-school-slash-town. It feels good to be representing my home team up here in the Pacific Northwest.

    Much love for the Runnin' Rebels. Here's to a MWC championship and deep run into the big dance!

    GO REBS!

  7. Nice win, and comeback. Still concerend about their consistent inconsistencies. Too many 3's for me, would like to see a deeper rotation. It is nice to see Moser back,and playing well. Also, good to see a reduction in turnovers, and improved effort out of everyone. I'm still perplexed over the lack of minutes for Goodman. When he plays he shines. As a born and raised local I love seeing Marshall represent our city.

  8. Best performance Marshall has had, I think ever. It was fantastic watching the rebs scratch back into the game and take it to BSU. Offensive struggles were tough to watch, and BSU was hitting everything beyond the arc (2 bank shots, really?) but UNLV never gave up.

    @Dan, I'm with you in repping the UNLV gear up here in Seattle also (wearing one now in fact), and I get the "Hey, rebel!" and "Reeeebbeeelllss" every now and again all the time.

    I'll be wearing my gear at the UW games too, especially when Williams-Goss is struggling.

  9. I'll miss not seeing Anthony Marshall with the Rebels next year.

    He is an example of a home town boy that did well from our school system, Mojave High School. He always seemed to play with intensity and a drive to win. I hope that whatever he decides for his future, there is always a place for him here in Las Vegas if he wants it.

    Thank you Anthony!

  10. both papers and the announcers have said that we enjoyed "home-cooking" last night. I say that the officiating was bad. It was bad on both sides. By blaming the Boise loss to bad officiating takes away the incredible job that Marshall and crew did to take the game from Boise. I watch a lot of BB on Tv and the officiating is awful nationwide. Great job Rebels. Finish it up on Saturday. Go REBELS!

  11. Big game for Marshall. Nice to see that.

    As for JHawk. Wow. Feel bad for him, but it is great to see how much his teammates support him during his offensive struggles. Sign of a real team. Props to Coach Rice and his staff - and the players - for creating that kind of environment. You see why recruits want to come and play here.

    And great win against a team on fire from the 3 point line.

  12. More than anything else this year, I've been very happy to see this team develop into a mentally tough team. Sure, we'd all be a lot more comfortable blowing teams out, but it really is nice to see our team step up after getting punched in the gut and come through in the end. I don't believe we win this game with last year's team. It seemed like every time we'd make a big run and take the lead, one of their guys would nail a 3 and then they'd go on a run. It happened twice in the second half and I can honestly say once Boise hit the 3 to go up by 10, I thought we were done. Never been so happy to eat crow.

    For all of the talk about how Anthony Marshall is not a "true PG," he won us that game last night and looked every bit like a high level PG while doing it. 16 points, 7 assist, 5 rebounds and most importantly 0 turnovers. He got to the rim at will during crunch time and always had a purpose for what he was doing, instead of driving with no plan as we saw often early in the season. He still continues to improve as PG. Its remarkable to see a player as talented as Marshall essentially "sacrifice" his senior season for his team by switching positions. Its tough to do and Marshall deserves all of the credit in the world because if he was playing the 2-spot all season next to a decent PG, his number would have been huge.

    While the slow start was definitely concerning, last night's win actually left me feeling very good about our team. Boise shot lights out for most of the game (50% from 3), we shot pretty poorly and we still found a way to win the same. Boise St. is going to be a very dangerous team come tourney time. I believe they'll beat SDSU up in Boise on Saturday and probably again in the 4/5 game in the conference tournament. And they really don't lose any significant pieces from this year's squad. Next year, the top 3 of the conference will be UNM, UNLV and Boise, not necessarily in that order.

  13. As far as the officiating goes....I've been watching the college game for a long time & lived & been to games in other places...and I've never seen a team get "homered" more on their own home floor than the Rebels. We rarely get calls like most teams do on their home floor. So I aint losing any sleep over last night for sure!

    You know that going into the Pit, Moby, Marriot Center, etc.. that we arent going to get any calls. And guaranteed there would be a few head scratchers against us. We have no such consistent advantage here. It doesnt exist. Like the CSU game...just reverse it...do you think if we're in Moby playing CSU, tied game with under 2 mins left, and Green inconsequentially bumps Marshall going over a pick 28+ feet from the rim..that we'd get that call? No chance!! But they didnt hesitate to whistle Anthony. Stuff like that happens here All The Time.

    Its as if the refs buy into the Vegas stereotype & over compensate trying to prove to the world that they are not "on the take." Like we're comp'ing them at the tables & sending them hookers. Maybe we should. lol! I dont know if its always been like that...I got here the year Tark got fired, but its pretty amazing given how legendary the T&M is.