UNLV rallies in second half to beat rival Pack | TahoeDailyTribune.com

UNLV rallies in second half to beat rival Pack

The Associated Press

UNLV's Darris Santee guards against Nevada's Armon Johnson during their NCAA college basketball game at Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. UNLV defeated Nevada 88-75. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

LAS VEGAS – UNLV extended its winning streak to four games in its instate rivalry with Nevada on Tuesday night.

The Rebels’ Oscar Bellfield had a game-high 22 points Wednesday night and UNLV overcame a double-digit second-half deficit in a 88-75 victory over Nevada.

UNLV (2-0) trailed 54-42 with 14 minutes to play, but scored 11 unanswered points as part of a 23-4 outburst to take a 65-58 lead with 8 minutes 12 seconds left.

“When we got over the hump in the second half, we just kept the pedal down,” UNLV coach Lon Kruger said.

Freshman Justin Hawkins finished with 13 points, including a driving layup with 9:56 remaining to give the Rebels the lead for good in their fourth straight win over the Wolf Pack (1-1). The run that put the Rebels in control was led by reserves including two freshmen and a walk-on.

“As bench players, we knew we had to step it up a notch,” Hawkins said.

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Nevada built a 10-point lead in the first half. But after going ahead by 12 in the second half, the Wolf Pack scored just 11 points in the next 10 minutes to fall behind 75-65 with 4 minutes to play.

“A lot of guys made plays and we stayed on the attack for the second half,” Kruger said.

Brandon Fields scored 22 points to lead Nevada. Armon Johnson had 16 points and Luke Babbitt had 14 and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Wolf Pack.

“At times, we battled them pretty good (defensively),” Kruger said of the Nevada trio. “But Johnson won most of the battles. He is tough to guard.”

UNLV 88, NEVADA 75

NEVADA (1-1) 

Fields 7-15 6-9 22, Shaw 3-8 5-5 13, Babbitt 2-11 10-10 14, Johnson 6-13 3-4 16, Hunt 1-3 0-3 2, Giles 0-1 0-0 0, Cukic 2-3 0-0 4, Kraemer 1-3 0-0 3, Carp 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 22-57 25-33 75.

UNLV (2-0) 

Bellfield 8-12 6-7 22, Jasper 4-7 0-1 8, Massamba 2-4 4-5 8, Stanback 4-8 0-0 9, Willis 2-6 4-4 8, Wallace 1-2 0-0 3, Marshall 3-10 0-0 6, Norman 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 1-6 0-0 2, Hawkins 6-11 2-2 16, Shaw 1-2 1-3 3, Santee 1-7 1-2 3. Totals 33-75 18-24 88.

Halftime-Nevada 38-33. 3-Point Goals-Nevada 6-12 (Shaw 2-3, Fields 2-5, Johnson 1-1, Kraemer 1-2, Giles 0-1), UNLV 4-15 (Hawkins 2-4, Wallace 1-1, Stanback 1-3, Willis 0-1, Jones 0-3, Marshall 0-3). Fouled Out-Hunt. Rebounds-Nevada 42 (Babbitt 10), UNLV 44 (Santee 7). Assists-Nevada 10 (Johnson 4), UNLV 19 (Bellfield, Stanback 4). Total Fouls-Nevada 20, UNLV 25. A-13,113.

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