Runnin' Rebels roll over Sacred Heart 82-50

Ethan Miller

UNLV got off to a hot start early and never looked back. Winning their third straight and advancing to face Santa Clara Sunday night in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.

Foward Roscoe Smith once again led the way for UNLV with 15 points and 13 rebounds while center Khem Birch added 15 points and 8 rebounds as the Rebels continue to look solid heading into conference play, improving to 6-4 on the season. Guard Phil Gaetano got Sacred Heart on the scoreboard first with a 3-pointer to start the game, but UNLV answered, reeling off 18 straight points and marching on to a 42-15 halftime lead. The Runnin' Rebels simply cruised the rest of the way, giving most of their bench some valuable minutes in the second half.

UNLV went 22 of 33 from the free-throw line and Bryce Dejean-Jones was also a solid contributor adding 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for the Rebels. Sacred Heart made only 1 of 6 free throws and shot an abysmal 3 of 17 from 3-point range. Guard Evan Kelley lead the Pioneers with 14 points while Chris Evans added 10. It was an all around poor performance from the Sacred Heart Pioneers. They couldn't generate any kind of momentum in this game. UNLV guard Kevin Olekaibe did have an extremely poor offensive performance however. The senior guard went just 1 of 10 from the field and 1 of 7 from three point range.

As was the case with the Rebels' previous two opponents Southern Utah and Radford, this was a clearly inferior opponent that UNLV had to take care of if they want to build some confidence heading into conference play. After the Rebels play Santa Clara Sunday night and then either Mississippi State or South Florida on Monday to wrap up the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, they will face Cal State Fullerton at home on December 28th before tipping off conference play at Fresno State on New Years Day.

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