After playing the last three of four games on the road, The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels were back at the Thomas & Mack Arena to play Air Force on Tuesday. The Rebels had a tough loss last week against the Aggies of Utah State. Air Force had beaten the Rebels earlier in the season. That was not the case in this game.
The Rebels started down by four. That deficit was cut after a shot by Bryce Hamilton from the corner for three. These points were their first of the game. This also put the Rebels down only one point, 4-3, three minutes into the game. The Falcons had control early until the Rebels took their first lead of the game with about eight minutes left in the half going up 16-15. Then #22 Josh Baker for the Rebels hit a shot from behind the arc to put the Rebels up 19-15.
Guard Mike Nuga gave the Rebels their biggest lead of the night with a fadeaway three putting the Rebels up 29-21 with just under four minutes left in the half. Nuga hit another three with 75 seconds left to give the Rebels an even bigger lead, 39-23. The half ended with The Rebels up on the Falcons 39-25.
Jordan McCabe hit the first points in the second half with a three. A few minutes later, Bryce Hamilton decided to take it himself and throw down a massive dunk to put the Rebels up 46-25 with 16:39 left to play.
The Rebels ran away with the game after the second half began. The Falcons never made an attempt to comeback from the deficit from the first half. The Rebels played a very good defensive game holding the Falcons to only 44 points. They also hit a lot of shots from behind the arc to give them the 34 point lead there was at the end of regulation. The Runnin’ Rebels won the game 78-44.
They were lead by, once again, Bryce Hamilton having 24 points. There were also three more players who went into double digit points with Royce Hamm Jr. and David Muoka having 12 points and Justin Webster with 11. They also had the two big three point shots by Nuga. Jordan McCabe only had three points in the game, but he contributed to the win by having ten assists.
Hopefully the Runnin’ Rebels can carry this momentum to their next two games against two big Mountain West opponents. They will be going into ExtraMile Arena on Friday, February 11 to play a Boise State team who is second in the conference, then will have to go into the SaveMart Center to play a good Fresno State team lead by Vegas native Orlando Robinson on Wednesday, February 16.