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unlv basketball:

Rebels offense starting to take shape, produces 95 points in lopsided win against Canisius

Five Rebels reach double figures, including 14 points and 10 assists from Oscar Bellfield and a game-high 19 points from Mike Moser


Sam Morris

UNLV forward Mike Moser sails in for a dunk against Canisius during the second half of their game Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. Moser had 19 points and nine rebounds in UNLV’s 95-70 win.

UNLV basketball handles Canisius, 95-70

UNLV forward Mike Moser sails in for a dunk against Canisius during the second half of their game Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. Moser had 19 points and nine rebounds in UNLV's 95-70 win. Launch slideshow »

During the final media timeout Thursday of the UNLV basketball team’s 25-point victory against Canisius, several of the remaining fans at the Thomas & Mack Center were surely thinking the same thing: whether or not the Rebels could score 100 points.

They had their best offensive game of the season and had 95 points with 3:34 remaining, looking to score more than 100 for the first time since December of 2006.

However, they didn’t score the rest of the game, opting to give walk-on players the reward of playing time to close their dominating win, a 95-70 drumming of travel-weary Canisius.

Reaching 100 points was probably the only thing that didn’t go the Rebels’ way.

Canisius, which played Tuesday in Virginia and had delays in their travel, not arriving in Las Vegas until late Wednesday, plays the same up-tempo style of offense as UNLV. They just didn’t have the horses or energy to equal UNLV’s intensity.

While the stat sheet shows several impressive performances, one stat stands out as the most important moving forward. No Rebel played more than 28 minutes, giving them plenty of rest for games on Sunday against Morgan State and next Tuesday against Cal-Poly.

Oscar Bellfield had a UNLV season-high 10 assists to help the Rebels record 28 assists on 33 made field goals. In a game of highlight-reel plays and outstanding shooting, the manner in which the Rebels shared the basketball to create points was equally significant for coach Dave Rice. Bellfied and Anthony Marshall, the team’s two primary ball-handlers, combined for 17 assists and just four turnovers.

“The 28 assists and 33 baskets is indicative of a team that played well tonight and shared the ball,” Rice said.

This is how Rice’s fast-paced game plan is supposed to work.

The Rebels had another stellar night defensively in limiting Canisius to 32 percent shooting in the first half, frequently rushing into transition for easy points. UNLV made 11-of-20 of its 3-pointers and shot a scorching 61 percent from the field.

UNLV trailed by one point with 11:32 to play in the first half before clicking on all cylinders offensively to lead 54-33 at the break. Without a doubt, the stretch to close the first half was the best the Rebels have played all season.

Unlike Monday’s game against Nevada-Reno, where UNLV had an 18-point lead trimmed to two points in the final seven minutes, the Rebels didn’t stop pressing and scoring in the second half.

Virtually every regular on the roster had a solid game, with five scoring in double figures

Mike Moser had game highs with 19 points and nine rebounds, including several athletic plays in transition and an impressive dunk in the second half that brought the fans to their feet. Justin Hawkins continued his stellar start to the season with 14 points in 28 minutes.

“It was funny because I don’t think there was a point where we really got tired,” Moser said. “Everything felt real good, everything flowed. Guys were getting to their spots faster than usually.”

Kendall Wallace hit 3-of-4 attempts on 3-pointers for nine effective points in 16 minutes, Carlos Lopez was able to rest his sore ankle in playing 18 minutes, but was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field. Marshall had seven assists and seven points, including burying a confidence-building 3-pointer after going 0-for-7 Monday against Nevada-Reno.

Chace Stanback had 10 points, Brice Massamba was perfect on two free throw attempts — a small victory for the team’s worst shooter from the line — in scoring six points and Bellfield missed only twice in posting 14 points.

“We have five guys who start the game, but we have a number of other guys who are really like starters and are playing with confidence,” Rice said.

Rice has constantly stressed improving from one game to the next. That might be a tall order Sunday against Morgan State simply because the Rebels were that good Thursday.

“We know the tough schedule we have coming up,” Rice said. “To come out play well and playing really well as a team is a positive step moving forward.”

As for scoring 100 points, Bellfield confidently said there are plenty of games left in the season to accomplish that feat — especially with how the offense played Thursday.

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  1. Moser is sick!! Not only is Mike the best player on the Rebels, he is the best player in the MWC. Moser will be a top 10 pick, I hope he sticks around but he'll probably play 1 year & be gone. This current team has the potential to be very good. The way they are learning how to run, setting up their spacing, & finding their shooters on the wings, they can do special things. I hope Moser & Barnes from UNC meet up against each other at the Orleans, Moser is every bit as good he just doesn't get the pub. This team is stacked, throw in Smith next month, Reinhardt, Jones, & Cook in 2012, thats a dynamic team. Too bad for Allen & Carter they missed out on something great.

  2. Yes he is JED...it's setting up nicely for a showdown next weekend. Too bad we don't play at the T&M...but we can still make it a home court advantage! Assuming they take care of business over the next week, we can't ask for a better opportunity then to play #1 UNC!!

  3. I was smiling from ear to ear last night as the Rebels truly were Runnin' with the exeption of the last 4 minutes or so. This team has great potential and I am so excited that Coach has brought back so much of the tradition of what UNLV was and what we will be in the future.
    I hope we do get a match-up with the tar heels; should be very exciting! But first things first. Let's put some more wins in our pockets.

  4. Moser will not be one and gone- he has WAY too much improving to do. That being said, for a guy who sat out last year, he has started great and once he allows the game to slow down a bit he will be even better. I will admit that he is probably the best pro prospect the Rebs have had since Shawn Marion.

  5. Slow down jedwards! We are all excited about having Mike Moser and yes he will definitely be a difference maker this year, but top 10 pick??? Every bit as good as Harrison Barnes???? Remember so far we have seen him against Grand Canyon, Nevada and Canisius. Let's see how he does against USC, UNC, Cal, Wisc, Witch St, Illinois and the MWC. He has some great tools and his rebounding is exactly what we needed but there is no way that this kid is a one and done lottery pick at this point. Love the enthusiasm but lets take it easy. Runnin' Rebels!

  6. I was at the game last night and..... correct me if I am wrong, but weren't their THREE Mosers on the court at one time...and did he really have four arms?

    Go Rebels!

  7. Good posts rose and gumby. I was going to post basically the same thing but you beat me to it. Moser has gotten off to a fine start and appears to have quite a bit of potential but to project him as a lottery pick after a couple of games against lackluster competition is certainly a stretch at this point.

    As to last night's game 33 field goals off 28 assists is impressive. Also glad to see the reduction in amount of three point attempts. This team doesn't have the consistency to be attempting 25+ three pointers a game. High teens, around 20, is a good number. Solid foul shooting too.

  8. I really wanted tacos last night.

  9. Not overhyping Moser, I believe he is that good. We all call it like we see it. He will post the same numbers against anybody, skills are skills no matter who you play against. Its all good we can respectfully disagree.

  10. For all of those who say moser is no shoe in for a lottery or vise versa he is a shoe in, you need to be real. It depends on the tourney. Without preseason hype its hard to go lottery from a mid major, however, if you make a deep tourney run (elite 8 or better) and you are the dominate player then it is not only possible but probable. Look at butler and AZ from last year. No real preseason hype but when you are one of the last ones standing, your golden.

    I personally believe that moser is as good as Barns and just has to get his complete legs back that barnes has had a whole season advatage.

  11. The exciting thing about Moser is that he doesn't even have his offensive game going yet. He's a much better jump shooter than he has shown so far. He is obviously not entirely comfortable in the offense yet. The competition isn't that great right now, but I agree with Dave Rice when he said that Mike has barely scratched the surface of his potential.

    All of that being said and with how talented I think Mike is and will be, the lottery and one-and-done talk needs to slow down a bit. I remember about this time last year, people were on here talking about how Chace was going to enter the draft because he started out on fire. The potential for Mike is certainly there and I agree that he has the potential to be UNLV's version of Darington Hobson or Kawai Leonard (more recent MWC lottery picks), but let's slow down a bit.

  12. Lots of Moser talk here. I thought this was a team game. Nice game last night guys. Keep working hard.

  13. You're right, nobody ever talks about individuals in team games. Peyton Manning isn't brought up whenever anyone talks about how much the Colts suck this year. Last years NBA Finals' major coverage wasn't about Lebron not showing up in the finals or Dirk finally getting over the hump. We never celebrate individuals. Thank God you're here to set us straight, boog.