Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 | 11:20 p.m.
- BOX SCORE: UNLV 95, Canisius 70 (11-17-2011)
- Live blog: Rebels take care of Canisius with best offensive performance of the season (11-17-2011)
- Mike Moser grabbing rebounds, making big plays for UNLV basketball (11-17-2011)
- Defensive effort against Nevada-Reno gives Rebels something to build on (11-15-2011)
- Local product Anthony Marshall more than familiar with importance of rivalry game with Nevada-Reno( 11-14-2011)
- Performances from Justin Hawkins, Mike Moser in opening night victory give Rebels something to build on( 11-12-2011)
- Kendall Wallace doesn’t back down in return for severe knee injury (11-12-2011)
- 2011-12 UNLV Men's Basketball Schedule
- All UNLV Men's Basketball Coverage
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.