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LIVE GAME BLOG: Final:

UNLV snaps two-game skid with 72-50 rout of Southern Utah

Marshall leads all scorers with 17 points in tune-up of sorts for Tuesday’s game against Kansas State

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV’s Justin Hawkins and Karam Mashour defend Southern Utah’s Kyle Davis during Saturday’s game at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Updated Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 | 9:01 p.m.

UNLV vs. Southern Utah

UNLV vs. Southern Utah

Final, UNLV wins 72-50

Editor's note: Apologies for lack of updates, as there are Internet issues at the Mack

In a game that was never close, UNLV licked some wounds on Saturday night in a 72-50 rout of Southern Utah at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The starters got a decent amount of rest, while Anthony Marshall got a bit of his swagger back while starting in place of the injured Derrick Jasper, who is likely to be back on Tuesday night when the Rebels (10-2) travel to Kansas City, Mo., to face No. 6 Kansas State.

Marshall, playing in Jasper's 'point forward' spot, scored a game-high 17 points in a variety of ways, finishing 6-of-9 from the floor.

UNLV as a team rebounded from a woeful shooting night on Wednesday in a loss to UC Santa Barbara to go 26-of-54 from the floor. The Rebels were just 3-of-14 from deep, but didn't need the long ball very often.

Some of the Rebels' reserves got extended run, highlighted by redshirt freshman forward Carlos Lopez, who scored 12 points.

Chace Stanback finished with nine points in limited minutes, while Justin Hawkins and Tre'Von Willis each scored eight.

For full postage coverage, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.

Halftime, UNLV leads 37-18

Editor's note: Apologies for lack of updates, as there are Internet issues at the Mack

Granted, its against an opponent that UNLV entered the night favored to beat by almost 30 points, but the Rebels are restoring some order on the heels of back-to-back losses.

UNLV leads Southern Utah, 37-18, and most of its success is thanks to solid defense.

The Rebels held the Thunderbirds to 6-of-24 shooting and forced 11 turnovers in the game's first 20 minutes, gradually building their lead.

If UNLV can get a nice shooting streak going, the game could blow open even more.

The Rebels are a respectable 12-of-29 from the floor (41.4 percent), but started going for more high-percentage looks after a 1-of-8 start.

The offensive catalyst has, without question, been sophomore Anthony Marshall, who is thriving while back filling the Derrick Jasper role.

Marshall's outside shot has come a long way this season, but he's clearly more comfortable slashing to the bucket and using his length and athleticism in that department. He leads all scorers with eight points, including an impressive driving dunk in traffic. He also has two assists and no turnovers.

Here are some other numbers of note from the first half …

— UNLV is 10-of-12 from the free throw line, which is impressive coming off of an ugly 20-of-34 showing in Wednesday's loss to UC Santa Barbara.

— Chace Stanback only played nine minutes, but is 2-of-3 from the floor and 1-of-2 from deep. He also has two boards, but picked up two fouls.

— Quintrell Thomas also picked up two fouls, being held to eight minutes. But he did have three points and four boards, sandwiched around a stern talking-to from Lon Kruger during the game's first full break.

— Tre'Von Willis is 2-of-8 from the floor and 2-of-6 from deep.

— Oscar Bellfield, in 16 minutes, has four rebounds, four assists and only one giveaway.

— The Rebels are out-scoring SUU in the paint, 18-10.

Pregame

Well, you'd certainly have to think that Southern Utah has UNLV's attention now, huh?

This had the potential to be a game that the Rebels (9-2) might have wound up overlooking, as the Thunderbirds (3-7) come into tonight's meeting at the Thomas & Mack just a few steps shy of looking intimidating.

However, off of two straight losses, including a 68-62 semi-shocker here at home against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night, No. 22 UNLV knows that it is in no position to overlook anyone.

Before Wednesday, this game was looked at largely as a primer for Tuesday's trip to Kansas City to take on No. 6 Kansas State at the Sprint Center. The need to regroup before that game was heightened today, as K-State's recent struggles finally got the best of the Wildcats in an ugly 57-44 loss at Florida.

If you thought UNLV had an off shooting night on Wednesday, it was nothing compared to what K-State endured today, as the 'Cats were just 15-of-55 from the floor (27.3 percent), 3-of-19 from deep (15.8 percent) and 11-of-19 from the line (57.9 percent).

So you know that they'll be ready to go on Tuesday. Now, can UNLV right its own ship before then? In order to do so, here are three things I'll be watching tonight when it hosts struggling Southern Utah:

1) I talked about it at length in today's preview story, but I'll hit it again: This is a big spot for sophomore guard Anthony Marshall. he took a little bit of an emotional hit, I think, when being taken out of the starting lineup with the re-emergence of senior Tre'Von Willis. It showed on the offensive end against UCSB, as he was 0-for-5 from the floor and had probably his toughest outing this season. Now, with Derrick Jasper likely sitting tonight following a minor right knee hyperextension, he has a chance to pick himself back up. Filling in for Jasper's role, which largely includes using his leaping ability to crash the boards and slash to the hoop from the wing, is something that fits Marshall's skill set. He thrived in that role at the end of last season. Can he do it again tonight, even though it's most likely just for tonight? It could be big moving forward if he can.

2) One good performance can turn into two and then to three … and so on. After doing next to nothing in only five minutes of run last Saturday at Louisville, Quintrell Thomas bounced back in solid fashion against the Gauchos. He only picked up two fouls in 21 minutes, scored four points and grabbed eight boards. With K-State's big and deep front line looming, Thomas could really use a dose of consistency.

3) Chace Stanback needs a nice shooting night. He's a combined 7-of-24 in the team's last two games, and yesterday at practice here at the Mack, he was cold again, not getting tons of lift on his attempts. He's going to have to be an offensive rock for the Rebels the rest of the way this season, and they can't afford to have him in a funk for an extended period of time.

That's it from here for now, as the Rebels are now coming out for warm-ups, wearing their new black uniforms for the first time in front of the home crowd tonight.

As for a prediction, I'll take UNLV in a game that shouldn't be too close, 75-52. For my Pick to Click, I'm going with Stanback, who seems poised to get back on track. It's the logical choice.

Don't forget, to join in on the in-game conversation via Twitter, add the #unlvmbb hashtag to your in-game tweets or give me a follow at twitter.com/ryanmgreene.

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  1. Took care of business like they should have in light of the competition level. This is one of those games where after what has happened recently the biggest hope is that some confidence has been regained, especially going to Kansas State next.

    Caught most of the Kansas State - Florida game today. Kansas State's half court offense was abysmsl in the second half. They still have the great defense but their half court offense hasn't been overly impressive so far this year. In particular the front line isn't anything what I thought it would be. Curtis Kelly seems to have regressed some from last season, Wally Judge has never lived up to the hype and Freddy Asprilla hasn't shown much offensively. Their other bigs are athletic but don't demonstrate much of a skill set. Plus I think they miss Clemente more than many thought.

    With this said, in comparison to our bigs they still scare the hetch out of me. KSU heading in to today was 13th in the nation in rebounding to our 206th. Plus Pullen can go off for 25-30. Hopefully the three ball is falling for us and we take advantage of their shaky point guard play and generate some turnovers, or it could be a long night.

  2. I sure wish we could go back to Tre'von coming off the bench. I don't think he needs to start for him to be confident. Marshall, on the other hand, seems to be boosted tremendously by getting the starting nod.