The UNLV Rebels started off slow for the second straight game but managed to put together some large runs in the second half to pull ahead for a big victory over in-state rival, University of Nevada Reno, 88-75.
The Rebels moved to 2-0 on the season, while the Wolf Pack fell to 1-1. UNR began the game with some hot shooting going 5-9 for threes in the first half while the Rebels shot a measly 1-7. Reno was up 38-33 at the half but the Rebel’s were prepared to wake up in the second half.
The Rebel’s surge didn’t occur until 7 minutes into the first half after going down 54-44 but then off some nice shots by Oscar Bellfield, Justin Hawkins, Anthony Marshall, the Rebels went on a 9-0 run to make it a game again.
The Wolf Pack managed to keep their lead a little long but the Rebels went on another big run, going on a 10-0, giving them a seven point lead at 65-58. From there UNLV never looked back extending their lead by as many as 16 in the final two minutes before the buzzer rang, ending the game.
"I’m really proud of our guys" coach Long Kruger said. "I thought the depth really played a factor. We played a lot of people and the second group in the second half was the reason we got back in the ball game
The Rebels had 11 players score and were led in scoring by Bellfield who had 22 points and 4 assists, also a team high, and the only other Rebel in double figures was Hawkins who pitched in 16. UNR had four players score in double figures and the Preseason WAC player of the year, Luke Babbitt had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Regarding their second half runs, Oscar Bellfield gave the crowd some props. "When the fans got involved, that just helped us more, and then getting the mismatches on the pick and roll, that’s just green light right there and we had to take advantage of that."
There was a crowd of 13113 and the student section was packed cheering loudly and helping lead their team to victory. The next game for the Rebels is against Southern Illinois on Saturday at 7 pm as both teams look to stay undefeated.