After the first half in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, most of the UNLV-biased crowd believed that the Runnin' Rebs would run away with the game. Their lead billowed as the Rebs steam rolled the offensively stagnant No. 15 Oregon Ducks. However, after just a couple minutes in the second half, the story turned.
It was expected. No one really thought that Oregon wouldn't put up a good fight on national television, and then UNLV's offense became non-existent.
Once more, a simple 2-3 zone kept the Rebels' scoring to a minimum. In this case, it kept them from scoring a field goal for several minutes. As the Ducks three-point shooting surged (particularly from Dwayne Benjamin who went 5-8 from 3-point range), the Rebels finally received some offense from Stephen Zimmerman (who had his most consistent game all season).
The Ducks put themselves within target range of taking over the lead, when eventually they cut the Rebels to within four points, but the hole they built themselves early in the game was too much to overcome. The Rebs came away with a 11 point victory, 80-69, over a solid Ducks team whose first half performance led to this lopsided win.
In addition to "Zimm City", Jerome Seagers, and Ike Nwamu (who led all Rebels scorers with 19) had excellent performances. This time for the Rebs, it wouldn't be Patrick McCaw or Derrick Jones, Jr. who took control of the game, and this is a fantastic sign for the Rebels who continue to prove their depth.
Positives: Free throw shooting was superb as the Rebels shot 18 for 21. Their Defense continues to live up to the Rice message of suffocating standard; in this game, four steals and five blocks. Negatives: Zone Defense stagnates the Rebels to the point that their fast paced threat becomes irrelevant. Also, Jordan Cornish has yet to have a break out game and continues to struggle from his "specialty" three-point area.