UNLV closes non conference play 11 for 2

By Jonathan Eskin | December 28, 2017

With wind speeds as high as 40 to 50 mph outside the Thomas and Mack Center, the same gusts seem to swirl inside.  One could hypothetically say it dismantled the core of the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils basketball team on the famous Tarkanian Court.

After close to three weeks on the road, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels were eager to see that red carpet rollout.  The welcome home sure paid off.

From the tipoff, the No. 351 ranked Delta Devils never really stood a chance.  Not even former alum and Super Bowl champion, Jerry Rice, could miraculously save the day with his patented one-handed Hail Mary catch.

Despite numerous turnovers in the first half, UNLV still managed to destroy MVSU, 95-63.

Nevertheless, head coach Marvin Menzies was critical of his team’s play.  “We’ll never play a perfect game,” Menzies said in a post-game media session.  

The second year basketball coach said the game was an opportunity to grow and was also a search for consistency.  Menzies wanted the players to play as close to a perfect game as possible.   

The blowout loss kept the Delta Devils winless at 0-12, while the Runnin’ Rebels are now 10-2 overall.  Conference play will begin Dec. 30 versus Boise State.

A crowd of 9,128 witnessed this snoozer.  McDonald’s High School All-American, freshman forward, Brandon McCoy scored 13 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.  

In addition, last year’s National Junior College Player of the Year, junior forward Shakur Juiston, had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.  Five other players had double figures, for a nice all-around team effort.   

Although, not all was silent in the night.  The 2nd Annual Teddy Bear Toss at halftime lifted the spirits of the masses.  The new, stuffed toy were collected by firefighters to benefit the Southern Nevada Burn Foundation.

Clark County Fire Department captain Kevin Bialas was delighted for this occasion.  Bialas said that it is “awesome the university is doing that to help the community.”  Apparently, the teddy bears are also utilized for medical calls as well.

The break in the halves made no difference for the Delta Devils as it was more of the same.  The only glimmer of hope was from third year forward Dante Scott.  Recording 27 points, making 12 out of 20 field goal attempts.

Overall, UNLV had some legitimate stats.  63 percent for field goals, 54.5 percent for 3-point field goals, and 70 percent for free throws.  

As UNLV was favored by 32.5 points, it can be difficult for players to remain inspired.

“You have to approach every game as if it’s the biggest game of the year,” Menzies said.  “I think that mental preparation will hopefully prepare you when you do have those big games, it’s not a big deal to be ready for because that’s how you always prepare.  You’re not too high with the highs and not too low with lows, as long as you’re focusing on the game in front of you,” he said.  

The Rebels indeed closed their non conference play on a high note with a 94-91 victory over Northern Colorado last Friday and closed their non conference play 11-2.

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men's basketball

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