Well-rounded Rebels slam Cowboys, 78-50

Everyone gets in on the act as UNLV hands Wyoming its worst home loss since 1959


Andy Carpenean / AP

UNLV forward Darris Santee, left, gets off a shot over Wyoming center Adam Waddell during Wednesday’s game in Laramie, Wyo.

UNLV-Wyoming Basketball

UNLV forward Chace Stanback puts up a shot against Wyoming during Wednesday's game in Laramie, Wyo. Launch slideshow »

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LARAMIE, Wyo. — Road games are not supposed to be that stress-free.

But in a game which could have been a trap against a non-marquee opponent, sandwiched between an eight-day layoff and a much-anticipated three-game stretch, UNLV really only felt the heat from Wyoming for a couple minutes Wednesday.

The rest of the Rebels' 78-50 blowout victory — the Cowboys' worst home loss since 1959 — was as neat and clean of a performance as Lon Kruger's ball club has delivered all season.

"It didn't look too good when they got the tip and (layup with a foul) three seconds into the game," junior guard Tre'Von Willis said of Wyoming's quick early score. "We'd talked about Wyoming for five, six straight days. It feels good to get on the court against an opponent and do what you want a little bit. We definitely did it, all 10 guys tonight, and that's what we're proud of."

After Wyoming (9-13 overall, 2-6 Mountain West) grabbed that early 2-0 lead, it was all downhill for the hosts in front of a rather docile and sparse home crowd.

In their first game without junior guard Derrick Jasper, who was seated at the end of the bench in street clothes, UNLV (18-4, 6-2) ran out to a 40-27 halftime lead, with all 10 players who saw the floor scoring before the break.

A 10-1 run to open up the second half sent the message to the Cowboys for good that the Rebels were not at all looking forward to Saturday's matinee at the Thomas & Mack Center against No. 12 BYU, which in first place in the league standings, a game ahead of UNLV.

"We didn't want to relax," junior forward Matt Shaw said. "I think earlier in the year, San Diego State had a pretty big lead and Wyoming came back. So we had to come out, play even harder in the second half than we did in the first half."

The Aztecs did blow a 20-point lead in a loss in Laramie in the first week of conference action, and no one took charge quite like Shaw in making sure that the Rebels didn't allow that to happen again.

In that 10-1 run to open the second frame, he hit a 3-pointer atop the key and dropped in a bucket in close off of a nice spin move.

Later, after Wyoming clawed back to within 15, he again went on a scoring spurt, ultimately finishing with a game-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

Shaw stepped up to the plate after starter Brice Massamba was held to only eight minutes on the night thanks to foul trouble and Darris Santee picked up three fouls in the first three minutes of the second half.

But Shaw's most significant contribution may have been his six defensive rebounds, as the Rebels didn't skip a beat without Jasper on the floor. The 6-foot-6 guard had been UNLV's most effective defensive rebounder of late. As a team, the Rebels looked meaner in general on the boards, and no one carried a bigger sneer than Shaw.

Kruger wanted his big men to help answer the bell with Jasper's 4.9 rebounds per game no longer in the lineup. Santee had five defensive boards in 14 minutes of play.

"I thought Matt got some big, strong rebounds there ... late, especially," Kruger said. "Darris did a lot of good things; Matt came in and did a lot of good things. The big guys continue to share that role very well."

Meanwhile, it didn't hurt that the two guys who have been the Rebels' steadiest producers on the road in league play — Willis and sophomore forward Chace Stanback — were their usual selves.

Willis finished his well-rounded night with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Wyoming didn't have a defensive answer for Stanback, who scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists and registered three blocks.

UNLV out-rebounded Wyoming 41-34, and while the Rebels had 20 assists compared to 10 turnovers, the Cowboys had seven assists and 14 giveaways.

"I felt like we didn't make that many mistakes. Everybody was passing the ball to each other, making open plays for each other. It was a great game for us," Stanback said, beaming. "I don't think all 10 guys are gonna be able to contribute every game, but it's nice to see that. We have to have different guys step up every game with Derrick out. We've got to pick up the slack."

Ravaged by injuries of late, Wyoming was hardly equipped to get out of the hole that UNLV put it in.

The trio of Djibril Thiam, A.J. Davis and Adam Waddell, who came in averaging a combined 31.3 points per game, scored seven between them.

Waddell, who had 22 rebounds in a victory over Utah before missing Wyoming's loss Saturday at Air Force with an ankle injury, had just one rebound in 13 minutes in his first game back.

And now it's OK for the Rebels to turn the focus to the Cougars, who UNLV has gotten the best of the last six times they've met at the Mack.

It's expected to be one of the more energetic home atmospheres UNLV has had all season, as less than 1,800 tickets were still available at the time Wednesday's game concluded.

Though UNLV is now 8-1 in true road games this season, a late-game collapse in a 77-73 loss Jan. 6 at BYU is something the Rebels hardly have forgotten.

They couldn't have asked for a better performance to head into it.

"Now. It starts now," Shaw said of when the team would start thinking of Saturday's foe. "As soon as the clock hit zero, we realized we've got a big one coming up. We've got to be mentally prepared for that, and it's gonna be a fight."

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  1. Nice win guys. Hoping for the same results on Saturday. I'll be in 113 rooting you on. Love the all around complete game and hope the same intensity is on the floor against BYU. Go Fight Win!

  2. How about some love for Oscar? He was amazing, breaking through press after press. Unbelievable control from him and a couple of big 3's. Good to see Marshall and Hawkins with some extra time.

  3. Impressive win. Can't wait for Saturday. Always fun to taunt the BYU fans in vicinity. Go Rebs, let's get atop the MWC standings!

  4. Nice team play; do the legacy good and let's see the same intensity Saturday and send BYU home!

  5. Great game, everyone contributed. Stanback was great (except for that strange airball?), Willis was cinsistant as always. Little trouble from the charity stripe, but not too bad. Refs were great I thought. They let the men play basketball, with little fouls (and that Tech on the WY coach was great too). Tough game approaching, but the crowd is going to be thumping. Our guys tend to do better when it gets crazy in the mack!

  6. fyi - Sofaking: Chace did not shoot the airball. It was Oscar. The Mtn. messed that up and showed the wrong guy. That is OK, O. Those first three jumpers (2 for three pointers) set the tone. Keep shooting Oscar!

    RE-BELS... Impressive win and only six posts by 8:30 am. Haha. Man I love some of our "fans."

    Ready for Saturday already! U-N-L-V.

  7. Another conference road win, let's follow it up by holding court on Saturday against BYU! No more losses to schools from Utah...

    Go Rebels!

  8. good win.
    beat the cougars.

  9. I was really proud of the Rebels effort last night. There was no letdown after the 8 day hiatus, nor did they look past Wyoming toward Saturday's contest.

    Everyone contributed, the Rebs played unselfish and with tenacity, two things they will need plenty of against BYU.

    The future is in your hands, Rebels. Make the most of it. I'll be rooting all the way.

  10. I know that wyo is struggling right now but no team in the mw could have beaten the Rebels last night. I, too, was worried that they may have overlooked the cowboys and were looking forward to the next 3 big games. We let one get away in provo and now we get the chance to get that one back on Saturday. I will be there with 15,000+ Rebel fans cheering the team on to a victory and back into the top 25; top 20 after we beat the lobos on Wednesday.

  11. 1rebelfan, the crowd is looking at about 17k right now. Gonna be sold out I think. Knock BYU off their high horse!!

  12. Can't wait for the game on Saturday!

    Real Mormons wear RED!

    Lets go Rebels!

  13. Amen to that TureUNLVFan!

  14. They said there were 2000 tickets left last night. If it doesn't sell out it'll be real close. I've got a business meetings in LA on Friday and Saturdya, I really wish I could be there. It's gonna be EPIC

  15. Rebels looked good last night. I'm hoping Anthony Marshall's little offensive spurt at the end of the game is a sign that he is getting his confidence back. We need him to step up with Jasper out. Hawkins looked good too. Wallace played some extended minutes last night, but didn't do too much. It looked like they played zone a lot when he was in the game so help take the pressure off on the defensive end. Can't do that against BYU with the shooters they have. Still would like to see Marshall and Hawkins get a bit more time at Wallace's expense.

    And to VegasNative: Some of us have jobs and more important things to do than post on a message board. I wasn't aware that our level of dedication as a fan was measured by the number of posts on this discussion board. I'll try to do better though.

  16. A nice win, and a great way to start looking forward to Saturday. I love the day games.

  17. It was great to see that the team did not skip a beat in this game and hopefully this gave UNLV added momentum to a very big and important match against BYU. Just polish up the plays boys and do what you do!

    Time to run down some cougars! Go rebs!

  18. MikeLange - I was joking. It was a remark about the people rushing to be negative on message boards vs. real fans - like yourself - who stick with the team no matter what. Did not mean to offend another true fan.

    Agree with your thoughts on Marshall. He has the potential to be real good.

    Go UNLV!

  19. Any update on Jasper's knee? It has only been a week but hopefully things are improving.

  20. Native57....Stanback had an airball too...Bellfield's was in the 1st half, Stanback's the 2nd half....Chace's might have hit the backboard...not sure.

  21. Isn't it amazing how a 28-point road victory makes the so-called "fans" go away who are constantly negative on these message boards? I don't see any of those "fans" on here posting positive thoughts about the effort last night. Where are you guys? Cat got your tongue, er, I mean typing fingers? What, if there's nothing to complain about, you have nothing to say? C'mon, let's hear from you about how bad the Rebels are! Heck, you can't even complain about Chop Jones because even he played well last night. And if you do decide to type something, make sure you start with the words "I was wrong".

    Great performance by the Rebels last night! If they can play somewhat close to that for every game the rest of the season (especially the next four games), they'll be 29-4, MWC regular season and tournament champions, and a 3 or 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, although the idiots who make up the selection committee would probably make them a 7-seed like they did a few years ago.

  22. I thought the team played very well last night.
    Need a really solid effort on Saturday. I am glad that Tre'von and Kendall were cold last night. Maybe they will heat up on Saturday!

    You are CRAZY if you thought Chop Jones played well last night. Why was he in the game after only one minute last night?? Seriously, the kid has no game....

    Bring back MEICH!!!!!!!!


  23. Haters wanna Hate. Lovers Wanna Love. I just wanna do, none of the above, i wanna ______ on you.

  24. I attended practice today ... team is gearing up for BYU and look good. No injuries.

  25. rebeltob ... take a look at our notebook from last night's game. Got some comments from Jasper.

  26. Exactly Hoops Fan, the usual negative dbags have disappeared. Good riddance!

  27. Thanks Ryan....You are a piece of sh*t and a horrible writer. The Sun has lost a ton of readers because of your blatant disregard for the readers.

  28. I got you Native... I just get sick of the manhood measuring contest that seems to take place on this board; especially when we are struggling. It's all good.

    As for the BYU game, I unfortunately will not be able to make it. My brother's wife apparently doesn't check any sport scheduling birthday parties... it was originally scheduled during the Super Bowl before I clued her in. I will be making the UNM game and the game @SDSU though, so that will make up for it. Everyone be extra loud for me, but let's clam down the the F! U! BYU chants? They already think we are all ignorant, classes morons... lets not prove them right.

    Hopefully the Wyoming game, along with the wins @CSU & @TCU, is a sign that this team isn't going to have the same collapse as last year. I figure we need to win out to get the conference title because I really don't see BYU losing another game other than against us. We can absolutely win out with 5 home games and 2 road games left. That game at SDSU will be a big one.