LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 17: Mike Moser #43 of the UNLV Rebels pushes the ball up the court against the Canisius College Golden Griffins during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center November 17, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 95-70. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
So much for UNLV being an elite team, at least not at this time. On Sunday night, UNLV was easily handled by Wichita State 89-70, and before people complain UNLV getting routed by a Missouri Valley team remember that the MVC is a comparable league to the Mountain West. Also, Wichita State is a pretty good team, their only loses on the year came to a ranked Alabama team and Temple who is projected to finish second in the A-10 this year; also consider that Wichita State is a tough out at home and is 4-0 this year at Charles Koch Arena. This was also a game that Wichita State had to win since it was their last chance to earn a marquee non-conference win.
However, UNLV losing to this team is not acceptable since just last week they upset the North Carolina Tar Heels who were No. 1 at the time. This loss will likely drop UNLV out of the rankings and some are already predicting that to happen and are dropping in a non-BCS poll as well. There are quite a few reasons for the loss, first it was that Wichita State shot lights out in this game with Joe Ragland making eight three-pointers and scored 31 points while forward Carl Hall poured in. As a team Wichita State shot 59 percent from the field compared to UNLV's 47, but the real difference came from beyond the arc as Wichita State made 12-of-23 while UNLV was only 5-for-20.
Wichita State got to an early lead when UNLV went cold from the field:
After going toe-to-toe in the opening minutes, the Rebels fell silent - going nearly a full eight minutes without a made basket - while the Shockers, and specifically guard Joe Ragland, got loud.Ragland hit two three-pointers during the stretch and another just seconds after Justin Hawkins finally ended UNLV's drought.
Ragland was a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range at halftime and finished with a game- and career-high 31 points, including eight three-pointers.
"They got anything and everything they wanted," Rice said.
UNLV did not play bad as they had four players in double-figures, led by Chace Stanback led the way with 17 points. This game was just one were a team was extremely hot and used the great equalizer in the three-point line. Also, being out rebounded was a concern as Wichita State grabbed 28 rebounds to UNLV's 25.
This loss should not hurt UNLV that bad as currently Wichita State is No. 65 in the RPI and that is prior to their win over UNLV. It is not a good or bad loss and really it will not affect UNLV unless Wichita State makes a run or falls off the map to significantly hurt their RPI position.
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