Runnin Rebels vs Texas State

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Runnin’ Rebels (2-4) | Texas State Bobcats (4-2)

 

 

UNLV fell short at home to Texas State Wednesday night 64-57.

After defeating Abilene Christian in their last game, the Runnin’ Rebels had the chance to even their record at .500 with a win. However, the Bobcats of Texas State had other plans. Senior guard Nijal Pearson led all scorers with 25 points, shooting 50% (8-16) from the field. He also grabbed ten rebounds to complete the double-double and help confirm the upset victory for the Bobcats. Pearson has been the leading scorer for them all season, averaging 17.8 points per game, and proved why against UNLV.

On the other side of things…

Amauri Hardy continued to show why he’s the leading scorer by putting up 18 points, along with three assists. The junior guard shot 35% (5-14) from the field and 57% (4-7) from three. Junior forward Donnie Tillman scored 13 points, along with grabbing five rebounds. He and Hardy were the only two to score in double figures for the Runnin’ Rebels.

The big issue for head coach TJ Otzelberger‘s team is the defense, specifically in the second half. In their last game, they allowed Abilene Christian to come back from their halftime deficit and tie the game with 10 minutes left. In this game, Texas State came back from their halftime deficit and took their first lead of the game just five minutes into the second half.

UNLV did regain the lead for a brief moment just five minutes later. But the Bobcats then took it back just seconds later and never looked back.

I stated in my preview article for this game that the Rebels had better be careful and not make the same mistakes in this game, or else they wouldn’t be so lucky. But Texas State proved to be a tougher team than Abilene Christian was, and they hung on to pull off the upset road victory inside the Thomas & Mack Center. The turnovers also proved to be an issue with UNLV having 16, opposed to Texas State‘s 10.

The Rebels were improving in this stat by decreasing their turnover amount for the past three games. Unfortunately, the trend went in the opposite direction in this game. Although by a slim margin, UNLV lost the rebounding battle as well, 35-34.

Perhaps the absence of junior guard Jonah Antonio could have played a factor in the outcome as well. The usual starter sat this game out due to an injury to his left hand. Antonio has been struggling to get the ball in the basket the last few games, but a few three-pointers from him definitely could have helped the Rebels. Starting in place for Antonio, was senior forward Nick Blair. He did not produce much, however, only scoring 2 points and grabbing five rebounds.

With one man out, another got in the rotation; and for this game, that man was Marvin Coleman. The native of Las Vegas didn’t do much for his team either, going scoreless and only attaining one rebound. Another player who has been seeing more minutes in the past two games has been senior forward Vitaliy Shibel. The big man from Ukraine has moved up in the rotation, taking more minutes from Cheickna Dembele. The other big man out of Mali, did not play in the last game, but did split his minutes with Shibel in this one.

UNLV will now have to face SMU, of the American Athletic Conference. That game will be on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30pm, inside the Thomas & Mack Center.

Runnin Rebels vs Texas State

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Isaiah Torres

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Runnin Rebels vs Texas State     Runnin Rebels vs Texas State

Runnin' Rebels vs Texas State Photos

Photography by Terrance Quaites and Trisha LaCoste