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UNLV basketball:

Chace Stanback a non-factor in loss at San Diego State


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

San Diego State University students Bar Hadari, left, and Joshua Palmer try to unnerve UNLV’s Chace Stanback during warm ups before the Rebels game against the Aztecs Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at Viejas Arena in San Diego.

UNLV vs. San Diego State 1-14-12

UNLV guard Anthony Marshall heads off the court after the Rebels dropped their Mountain West Conference opener to San Diego State 69-67 Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at Viejas Arena in San Diego. Launch slideshow »

SAN DIEGO — Chace Stanback wrinkled up his nose at the question.

After all, why would the UNLV senior forward know what was going to happen on the final possession? Because during that final stretch, and for half of the second half Saturday, Stanback was a spectator like the other 12,414 people who packed San Diego State's Viejas Arena.

Against San Diego State, Stanback played just 24 minutes, which was his third lowest amount of minutes played this season. The other two games were double-digit victories.

The first play of the game in the Rebels' 69-67 defeat was a post-up designed for Stanback that didn’t turn into anything. For the rest of the half he quietly hit 3-of-7 shots — a pedestrian number for sure. Still, on an off afternoon, he went into halftime leading the Rebels in made baskets.

But he didn’t make any in the second half in finishing with seven points — well below his double-digit average.

Really, his only memorable play in the second half was getting his ankles broken by San Diego State’s Xavier Thames with 2:04 remaining. He was pulled for the rest of the game, with coach Dave Rice opting for defensive specialist Justin Hawkins.

“Have not lost any confidence in Chace at all,” Rice said.

Stanback’s three-game career shooting line at San Diego State is 7-for-33. This definitely wasn’t what he wanted to do in front of fans who heckled him starting an hour before the game.

“Ultimately we’ve just got to play our game, get better every day and we’ll see them again,” Stanback said.

Bellfield steps back

Senior guard Oscar Bellfield's 13-point performance in the victory against Cal State Bakersfield, it turns out, didn’t solve anything.

Bellfield had scored in the double digits in the first eight games before a long swoon that included being the only Rebel to play but not score against Central Arkansas. But after the victory against the Roadrunners on Jan. 5, Bellfield talked as if he had figured things out.

Then came Saturday’s 1-for-12 performance.

As usual, Bellfield led the team in assists and even contributed a key block with about 37 seconds left, but he became a black hole on offense.

After his first few misses, the Aztecs seemed content to give him open shots. That worked better than they could have hoped.

Add that on to Bellfield’s defensive slip-up on the final possession, and it was a tough afternoon for the Rebels point guard.

Under-40 club

The Rebels are now 3-3 in true road games, and Saturday was the second time this season that they’ve shot under 40 percent in a game.

The other occasion was one of those other losses, a 62-51 defeat at Wisconsin on Dec. 10.

As bad as that game seemed at the time, UNLV’s shooting on Saturday was worse. At Wisconsin, the team hit 18-of-46 for 38.1 percent.

At San Diego State, the Rebels shot 24-of-68 for 35.3 percent.

For some perspective, the Aztecs achieved the same amount of made baskets in 13 fewer shots.

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

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  1. This is conference play, just like any other league, anyhting can happen and teams fall. Stanback was largely a non-factor because SDSU did their souting report, and did their best to not get him the ball. That's when someone else has to step up. Marshall filled the void, but Bellfield was ice cold. It happens. Still a great game, and I look forward to them bouncing back.