LAS VEGAS -- Josh Adams light up UNLV, but the Runnin’ Rebels led the entire second half and took down Wyoming 69-57.
Adams finished the game with 24 points on 8 of 15 shooting, but it was Pat McCaw that came up the biggest for UNLV as the freshman guard had 21 points. It was the first time he’s shot over 50 percent at home this season.
Adams was tremendous coming off of screens, but that was the only real problem UNLV had defensively. The rest of the Cowboys, notably Larry Nance struggled. Nance finished with 9 points on 3 of 10 shooting. He didn’t attempt a shot in the second half until 1:30 was left in the game.
Similarly, Chris Wood was absent in the first half. Dave Rice even pulled him from the starting lineup when the second half started. But Wood came alive late and finished with a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds); he had no points and three rebounds in the first half.
- UNLV did a tremendous job on Wyoming’s dribble handoff weave play. The Cowboys got eight dunks thanks to that play in the matchup against UNLV on December 31.
- In that previous meeting, Wood and Nance went off, as each scored 29 points on a combined on 11 of 32 shooting. But they were both quiet tonight, save Chris Wood on the glass in the second half.
- Dwayne Morgan put together his second straight quality game on offense. The freshman had eight points on 3 of 8 shooting and only grabbed two rebounds. But UNLV was +16 with him on the court, mainly due to his defense on Nance. Morgan looked better defensively than Wood or Goodluck Okonoboh defending Nance.
- Cody Doolin was impressive off of ball screens, something we expected to see a lot of this year. Doolin had 10 points and four assists, and he consistently made the right read on the pick and roll as he got into the lane.
- Pat McCaw continues to be awesome. He had two separate occasions where he ripped the ball for a steal and leaked out in transition. Once he hit a three, the second time he hit an off balance layup. McCaw had 21 points on 10 shots.
- Dave Rice on Pat McCaw’s performance: "I thought Patrick McCaw was fantastic. I don’t want to play him 39 minutes, but it’s hard for me to get him off the floor because he does so many things."
- Dave Rice on Dwayne Morgan: "Dwayne has made more improvement than any player in our program in the last two weeks. Dwayne understands now what his role is. He’s slowed down on offense."
- Dave Rice on starting Dwayne Morgan over Chris Wood in the second half: "I’m always going to play the guys that are most ready to play."
- Dave Rice on changing the defense: "When we played them at Wyoming it was a game we ended losing by five. We were right in it until the end. Our thought process on their home floor was that we didn’t Grabau, Hankerson, Adams and McManamen to get going from three. So we tried to cover Larry Nance one on one. We felt like, with them away from home, we had a better chance of helping off (shooters)."
- Cody Doolin on his favorite player on the team: "I can’t say enough about him. He’s probably my favorite player on the team. I know that’s a little embarrassing. He’s just fantastic."
- Pat McCaw on his favorite player: "I’d probably say Dantley. And then Cody."
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Pat McCaw and Cody Doolin
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With the win, UNLV improved to 7-9 in conference play and kept its slim hopes of grabbing a first round bye alive in the Mountain West Tournament. The Rebels play San Diego State at home and travel to San Jose State to finish the season.
Wyoming slipped further down the totem pole to 10-6. The Cowboys are now two games behind Boise State and San Diego State at the top of the conference and one game back of Colorado State and Utah State. Wyoming gets Utah State at home before finishing at New Mexico.