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UNLV basketball:

UNLV’s Chace Stanback piles up 29 points in victory against ULM

Rebels 11-point scoring run early in the second half fuels blowout victory, showcases Mike Moser’s athleticism


Sam Morris

UNLV forward Chace Stanback takes a shot over Louisiana-Monroe guard Trent Mackey during their game Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV won the game 81-63.

UNLV vs. Louisiana Monroe

KSNV coverage of the Runnin' Rebels taking on Louisiana Monroe. Dec .19, 2011.

UNLV overpowers Louisiana Monroe, 81-63

UNLV forward Chace Stanback is guarded by Louisiana-Monroe's trent Mackey during the first half of their game Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

Rebel Room — Rebels cruise past Louisiana Monroe

Las Vegas Sun reporters Taylor Bern and Case Keefer discuss the UNLV basketball team's victory against Louisiana Monroe. The No. 21 Rebels used 29 points from Chace Stanback is easily defeating the overmatched Warhawks.

Chace Stanback cleansed his palate on UNLV's first possession.

After that he was ready for the main course, a game-high 29 points in the 21st-ranked Rebels’ 81-63 victory against Louisiana-Monroe on Monday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

In Stanback’s previous two games he shot a combined 2-of-12 from the floor. He matched that in less than four minutes Monday, hitting two 3-pointers before any other Rebel put up a shot. Stanback, a senior guard/forward, finished 8-for-9 behind the 3-point line and 10-of-13 overall.

“The important thing is just to stay confident and remain focused on each game,” Stanback said, “because you always have another game. Until you get knocked out.”

Coach Dave Rice said effort wasn’t Stanback’s issue against Illinois and suggested that the difficult schedule during finals week may have played a role.

Whatever the case, the Rebels filled in for their leading scorer the last two games. And then he returned the favor.

UNLV (12-2) went into halftime with just a 37-27 lead as Louisiana-Monroe (1-11) used up a lot of the shot clock and slowed the game down. At that point, Stanback had more than half of the Rebels’ total made field goals and just less than half of their total points.

But if Stanback carried UNLV into the break, then credit senior guard Oscar Bellfield and sophomore forward Mike Moser for taking charge early in the second half.

A borderline game quickly turned into a blowout because of an 11-point run highlighted by back-to-back alley-oops from Bellfield to Moser, who finished each with reverse slams. The crowd erupted and the Warhawks’ slim chances slipped out the door.

“It’s remarkable what a good second-half team we are,” Rice said.

UNLV played well in the first half. It shot 53 percent from the floor and turned over Louisiana-Monroe 10 times. But the Rebels weren’t getting enough shots because the Warhawks worked the shot clock and limited the number of possessions.

That run to start the second half was all it took to force Louisiana-Monroe out of its game plan and into the Rebels’ track meet. Why didn’t it happen earlier? Well, UNLV is still figuring that out.

“I definitely feel like the second half is where we really just come out with full energy,” Bellfield said, “like how we should at the beginning of the game, actually. But that’s just something we’ve got to work on.”

Before Moser’s slams, the biggest crowd reaction was for sophomore guard Reggie Smith.

Making his Rebel debut, Smith, who transferred from Marquette, checked in about midway through the first half.

He promptly committed a foul on the defensive end, then made up for it with a 3-pointer at the other end. Smith said he had multiple dreams about his first attempt. It went better in real life.

“My first shot I took in my dreams, I never made it,” Smith said.

He played just three minutes in the first half and nine for the game. Smith said he was winded after that first series of possessions, partly because he hasn’t played at game speed in about a year and also because he was overanxious for his first minutes on the court.

His performance wasn’t great. In fact, on one play Smith let an inbounds pass be played off his back, something teammates are sure to remind him of often.

“I’ve never had that happen to me,” Smith said. “But that’s out the window.”

The important thing is he got the first game out of the way, and the next few will be about getting him into game shape.

Four Louisiana-Monroe players finished with double-digit points, led by center Steven McClellan’s 16. Hugh Mingo (15), Trent Mackey (13) and Fred Brown (12) also got involved.

In the paint, UNLV sophomore center Carlos Lopez continued his stretch of solid games with 12 points and nine rebounds. However, junior center Quintrell Thomas didn’t get a chance to parlay his 13-point effort against Illinois because of an injury he suffered in the second half of that game.

Thomas injured a toe on his left foot, but finished out the game and practiced on Sunday. However, Thomas met with trainer Dave Tomchek and decided to rest because of the turf toe.

“They both decided it would be in our team and Quintrell’s best interest for him not to play tonight,” Rice said. “I know that Quintrell was frustrated, especially after how he played on Saturday at Illinois, but I felt it was very important for him to get well.”

The Rebels expect Thomas to be good for Friday’s home game at 2 p.m. against California (10-2).

Stanback may not have the same determination to get a bad taste out of his mouth in the beginning of that game. But if the Golden Bears slack off at all, he’ll dig in just the same.

“I’m not going to turn down an open jumper,” Stanback said.

Good plan.

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

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  1. I'm not much of one for conspiracy theories, but did anyone else notice how on the ESPN bottom line score tracker, out of all the ranked teams that played last night, UNLV was the only one that was mysteriously missing when the scores where scrolled across the screen? They eventually would show our score with all of the other unranked teams, but even this morning our score did not show up with the other ranked teams.

    But that's alright -- just keep winning, and they won't be able to ignore us forever. U-N-L-V Go, Fight, Win! Let's beat up on those Cal bears on Friday afternoon!

  2. I noticed that this morning also. No East Coast Luv for the Rebs? No problem, come tournament time people will know that UNLV is back on the national stage. Good luck against the Bears.

    Happy Holidays to everyone in Rebel Nation!

  3. I noticed that, rebel in Indy. I was yelling at the screen: "Hey, if you have Illinois still ranked (24, I think) then why don't you have the Rebels?!"

    Unfortunately, it didn't do any good but at least they still won although I'm wondering where the blowouts are. UNC wins by 50--we should be able to whack some of these bad teams by at least 30, shouldn't we?

    Looking forward to the Cal game. That should be interesting...

  4. @J_Dinz Not only the espn snub there with the tracker, but yesterday ESPN staff were talking about how weak the PAC-12 is, and saying "The west coast is just completely absent this season." Umm, no, sorry just the PAC-12 is absent and weak. Plenty of good teams out in the west.

  5. I had to work last night and wasn't able to attend/listen to last nights game......Am I reading the box score right? QT didn't get into the game? After the game he had on Saturday and no minutes. Did I miss an article or something? Is he hurt?

  6. QT had turf toe. He hurt it in the second half of the illinois game

  7. Good game last night, fun to watch.

    I've also noticed some weird/inconsistent ESPN coverage this year. I thought it was strange that the stat line they showed for Mike Moser after the Illinois highlights said 17 pts, 11 reb, 6 TO. I've never seen them list someone's turnovers like that.

    Also, Doug Gottlieb has made comments more than once that attempt to marginalize UNLV's success so far this year.

    But really, everything said about you is irrelevant in college basketball. As long as you make the NCAA tournament you have a chance to play for it all.

  8. Now beat Cal Rebel's