UNLV healed some wounds thanks to a home date with San Jose State. The Runnin’ Rebels crushed the Spartans 74-40, while holding San Jose State (2-14 0-4 MW) to 23.3 percent shooting.
UNLV (10-6, 1-2 MW) came in on a three-game losing streak, which included a home loss to Nevada on Wednesday. The Rebels were 20-point favorites and played like it, as they never trailed.
Offensively UNLV shot lights out in the first half going 13 of 18 from the field. The Rebels cooled off in the second half, but the best news might have been Dwayne Morgan finally knocking down some shots.
Morgan came in shooting 36 percent from the field and was 2 of 9 on threes. But his hot shooting helped him reach double figures for just the third time this season with 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting. He even equaled his season total from beyond the arc by going 2 of 2.
The main blemish for the Rebels was on the defensive glass, as San Jose State grabbed 12 of their 28 misses in the first half. The Spartans entered the game 338th (out of 351) in offensive rebounding percentage. But UNLV had no first half answer.
This came on the heels of Nevada’s domination on the offensive glass against UNLV on Wednesday. The Wolf Pack grabbed 22 of their 45 misses.
But the second half changed. UNLV held San Jose State to 4 offensive rebounds; Rashad Vaughn led the charge to the glass, as he scooped up seven defensive rebounds in the second half.
Vaughn finished with 15 points (6 of 11 shooting) and 10 rebounds – a career high – for his first ever double-double.
San Jose State is one of the worst teams in the country, so any positives aren’t indicators that UNLV has turned it around. But getting the first conference win of the season and covering the 20-point spread are in the very least not negatives.
- Chris Wood has made 20 consecutive free throws dating back to UNLV’s win over Portland on December 17th. Wood started the year 24 of 40 from the free throw line.
- Dantley Walker saw some playing time in the first half. However he didn’t rotate and block out well enough, which led to a San Jose State putback, and Dave Rice pulled him.
- Walker did get back in the second half and made one of his three attempts from beyond the arc.
- Both walk-ons, Charles Rushman and Barry Cheaney, played and scored. All 11 UNLV players scored.
- San Jose State struggled to shoot the ball; the Spartans were 14 of 60 from the field (23.3%) and 2 of 19 from three (10.5%).
- Nearly 40 percent of San Jose State’s points came from second chance points.
- San Jose State’s leading scorer, Rashad Muhammad, who went to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, was 0 of 11 from the field. He did score three points on 3 of 6 shooting at the line.
- The other local kid for San Jose State didn’t perform much better back in Las Vegas. Darryl Gaynor, from Durango High School, shot 2 of 16 from the floor.
- Jaleel Williams had 17 for the Spartans, but he needed 19 shots to get there.
Dave Rice on Chris Wood’s one shot attempt:
"The key to the game tonight was Christian Wood. I thought he showed a lot of maturity tonight, from a stand point that he gets one shot in the game, and the ball moved because he didn’t care about anything except getting guys involved."
Dave Rice on fixing rebounding after the Nevada loss:
"We had a lot of clips of all the guys from the Reno game. In terms of individual responsibility and accountability we didn’t do a good job in that game."
Rashad Vaughn on Rice showing clips:
"He didn’t do it lightly either. He showed every clip to each and everybody, every mistake that you made. We just took it and went to practice and tried to learn from it."
"He does it (shows clips of mistakes), but he doesn’t do it like this time. I think it really it home for a lot of guys."
Jordan Cornish on UNLV’s bad starts:
"We start games and start halves too flat. The games that we’ve lost, it happened like that. So I try to get the guys fired up, and Wednesday night (vs Nevada) it just didn’t happen. We were waiting for the light switch to click and it just never clicked."
Jordan Cornish on the Nevada loss:
"I definitely think we overlooked them. We came in that game BSing. Yeah we overlooked them."
UNLV will head out on the road to play the other winless team in conference play, Boise State, on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. PST on ESPNU. The Broncos dropped road games to Colorado State and Wyoming, plus lost at home on a buzzer-beater three from Utah State.