UNLV-CSU notebook: One point shy of tacos for all

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UNLV won its second straight game by double figures, beating Colorado State 89 to 70 on Saturday night.

UNLV vs. Colorado State

Tre'Von Willis blows past the Colorado State defense Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Rebels defeated Colorado State 89-70 for their second straight win.  Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

CSU POSTGAME: Not quite like last time

Ryan Greene and Rob 'The Ostrich' Miech discuss UNLV's neat and tidy 89-70 revenge-fueled victory on Saturday night over Colorado State. The guys talk about the Rebels again successfully carrying out the '40 minutes of heck' plan of attack, Tre'Von Willis playing the hero again and take a look ahead to Wednesday's challenge at Wyoming.

UNLV scored a season-high 89 points on Saturday night against Colorado State, but a Thomas & Mack Center crowd still didn’t get its free tacos.

A local eatery has a promotion in which anyone with a UNLV ticket stub gets a free taco if the Rebels score 90 points.

Walk-on junior guard Scott Hoffman missed a 3-point shot from the right corner, but freshman center Brice Massamba grabbed the rebound and put it back in for an 89-67 edge.

With 26 seconds left, freshman forward DeShawn Mitchell lost the ball out of bounds. A group of students, no doubt hungry for a free after-game munchy, wailed.

Mitchell lost it again, but senior walk-on Rob Ketchum had the ball in the final seconds.

As much as he wanted to launch a shot for the free food, he was told not to by the UNLV coaching staff.

“Coaches told him to pull it back out, out of respect for Colorado State,” said Rebels senior power forward Joe Darger. “That last possession wouldn’t help us, it wasn’t for anything but the fans. The coaches didn’t want to disrespect Colorado State.”

Movie time

Rams senior guard Marcus Walker said his coaches and teammates will study video of Saturday’s game with more than a little interest.

“We’ll go back and look at the film to see what we could do better, just in case we do run into them in the conference tournament,” Walker said. “This’ll be a good game for us to go back home and just think and reflect.

“We’ll see how we can take this game, use their pressure and use it against Utah to our advantage.”

Colorado State plays host to Utah on Wednesday night.

A little help

Walker very publicly reached for an inhaler when he left the game with about seven minutes remaining.

He had just scored his team’s last 12 points, but he doubled over a bit and was trying to catch his breath.

He said he has mild asthma, and it was a rare occasion when he needed a breather somewhere other than in the higher altitudes of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming or New Mexico.

Told that UNLV freshman guard Oscar Bellfield has asthma and requires an inhaler once in a while, Walker said Bellfield –- or anyone –- shouldn’t feel self-conscious about needing that help.

“No, it’s about your health,” Walker said. “It ain’t how you look, it’s how you feel. Anytime I feel winded, I go straight to the inhaler, attack it and go back out there.”

Free throws

UNLV power forward Mo Rutledge established career highs with 12 points and four 3-point shots. In fact, he went 4-for-4 from beyond the 3-point arc. Rutledge has made 15 of 22 3-point attempts, a scorching 68.2-percent clip, over his past dozen games … Darger entered the game tied, at fifth, in 3-point shooting in conference games. He was at 42.9 percent, then hit 3 of 5 from long range against the Rams to improve his Mountain West marksmanship to 44 percent … UNLV had a season-best 23 assists Saturday. Its previous high was 21 in that 15-point thumping of Arizona on Dec. 20 … boxing out was a major drill in practice for the previous few days, and the Rebels won that battle, 34-32, against Colorado State. After losing the points in the pain in five consecutive games –- including at Air Force –- UNLV won that Tuesday against TCU (24-18) and Saturday vs. the Rams (36-24) ... before Saturday, UNLV was eighth in the league shooting free throws at a 67.7-percent clip. Saturday, the Rebels were 12-for-22 (54.5 percent) at the line. Senior guard Wink Adams was 1-for-5 at the stripe … for the eighth time this season, UNLV’s turnovers (eight) were in the single digits … in MWC games, Rebels sophomore guard Tre’Von Willis was second with a 2.81 assists-to-turnovers ratio. He didn’t hurt that Saturday with six assists and two turnovers. Freshman guard Bellfield was fourth, at 1.94, and boosted his position with six assists and no turnovers.

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  1. There was a rumor swirling the Mack that the first teamers were pulled for an extended period to avoid cracking ninety points. The economy being what it is maybe Kruger didn't want to send the taco shop into bk.

    I like that Marcus Walker. The guy shows a lot of heart, kept hammering it into the lane knowing they had little chance of winning but refusing to give up.