Coming off a win over Wyoming on Saturday, UNLV was heading into tonight’s game with pride and right on their side, but it didn’t show up tonight as the Broncos of Boise State (10-4, 3-0) beat the Runnin’ Rebels (8-8, 1-2) 77-59 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“I apologize for that effort,” said UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies. “That was something that I’m not accustomed to and it through me for a loop. (I’m) not quite sure why that was the way it was tonight but we will definitely play harder.
Boise State opened the game with Chandler Hutchison scoring 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the half helping the Broncos to a 25-8 run to open the game. Hutchison, who averages 18.0 ppg, ended the first half with 15 points on 7-10 shooting. He would go on to set a career-high with 28 points and also grabbing 11 rebounds.
Unfortunately, a three-pointer by Jovan Mooring that extended the 3-point streak to 990 was the only bright spot in the first half for the Runnin’ Rebels. UNLV’s defense was sloppy in first twenty minutes and frustrated themselves as they were down 41-20 at halftime.
In the second half, the Broncos brought the same intensity on the defensive end and forced UNLV into difficult shots.
“We just had too many letdowns and defensively we started the game off terrible,” said Green. “The rest of the game we couldn’t get any stops. We just have to look back on the film and we have to get better because we’re going into a crazy environment on Saturday (at Utah State) so we have to be ready for that.”
Overall, the Broncos shot 48 percent from the field and 33 percent (8-24) from the three-point line. The Lobos outscored the Aztecs 43-26 in the second half.
As always at the end of games this season, UNLV fought until the end and never gave up.
“We’ve got to get better and get to the next game where communication is going to be even tougher in Logan (Utah State),” Menzies said. “They’re going to have to be able to talk on the floor or it’s going to be a long day.”
The Runnin’ Rebels head to Logan to take on the Aggies of Utah State Saturday, January 7th, while Boise State takes on San Diego State at 8:00 PST in Boise on ESPNU. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 pm PST on CBS Sports Network.