UC Irvine vs UNLV

No. 24 UNLV 85, UC Irvine 57

CBSSports.com wire reports

LAS VEGAS -- Pressure defense, limited turnovers and offensive consistency were No. 24 UNLV's goals against UC Irvine on Wednesday night.

Freshman Anthony Bennett and junior Mike Moser scored 19 points apiece to lead the Runnin' Rebels to an impressive 85-57 victory.

Using tenacious defense, the Rebels held UC Irvine scoreless during a crucial five minutes of the second half, long enough to widen their lead to 20 points and take the Anteaters out of the game. UNLV outscored UC Irvine 51-31 in the second half to pull away for the easy win.

Katin Reinhardt added 13 points for the Rebels (4-1).

More on college basketball
Related links

"The offensive part [of the game plan] was to limit our turnovers, and when your point guard [Anthony Marshall] makes only one turnover and your backup point guard [Savon Goodman] makes none, they're doing their job," UNLV coach Dave Rice said. "From an offensive consistency standpoint, I thought it was our best game [of the season].

"Anytime you can get 22 assists and make only seven turnovers .."

Rice didn't finish his thought. Nor did he need to.

The Rebels scored the game's first six points and built a 10-point lead three times in the first half. Though the Anteaters closed the gap to 25-22, Carlos Lopez-Sosa's first career 3-pointer helped UNLV extend its lead over the final five minutes. Moser scored 11 points and Bennett had six to lead UNLV to a 34-26 halftime lead.

Moser, who was 4 of 13 from the field and had five rebounds, went right after the Anteaters, commanding the ball and using an aggressive approach from the opening tip. His baseline drive for a dunk that put the Rebels up 21-11 with 9:23 remaining in the half was a punctuation to his effort. The Rebels were 12 of 32 (37.5 percent) from the field, including 2 for 9 on 3-pointers, and made 8 of 9 free throws over the first 20 minutes.

"Tonight the defensive effort got us going," Moser said. "When we're making stops and making shots, it's a winning combination. We're slowly getting better. And my part in that is to continue to attack the glass and make plays for everyone, including myself."

Said Rice: "I can say a lot of great things about Mike Moser, but his work ethic stands out. One thing he knew he needed to improve was his play on the post, and he has greatly improved his post game. He can handle it, shoot from the perimeter and post up and score. He has great feel out on the perimeter."

Senior guard Daman Starring, who grew up in Las Vegas, had 18 points and Adam Folker added 12 for the Anteaters, who lost by four points or fewer in their first three losses. This was their second straight loss by double digits following a 10-point loss to Pepperdine last Saturday.

"The type of defense they play, they get in your face," Starring said. "They can dictate the game and make you do what they want you to do."

Bennett sat out Monday's practice with a sore back, but practiced Tuesday at full speed, while Marshall sat out with swelling in a knee. Neither looked as if they were bothered at all. Marshall finished with six points and nine assists.

After a relatively quiet first half, with just six points, Bennett had 13 in the second half and scored seven of UNLV's first 17 points in the second half.

UC Irvine (3-4) scored just 21 points over the final 14:59 of the game - nine from the free throw line.

"Depth serves us well," Rice said. "Nine guys played; nobody more than 32 minutes. When we play that well on the defensive end that puts a lot of pressure on the offense."

UC Irvine entered the week No. 7 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, but the Rebels had no trouble creating turnovers, forcing the Anteaters to cough up 15. UC Irvine had just 10 assists. Alex Young went into the game leading the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 10.33, as he had 31 assists compared to just three giveaways. But against the Rebels, the freshman guard committed four turnovers and had just two assists.

"The thing making them good right now is their physical aggressiveness defensively," UC Irvine coach Russell Turner said. "That really bothered us. It bothered us more than I thought. They're a better defensive team than an offensive team, and I give their coach credit for building than mentality with a young team. They're good."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
California Irvine (3-5)263157
UNLV #24 (4-1) «345185
UCIRV:D. Starring 18 Pts
UCIRV:M. Best 6 Reb
UCIRV:M. Best 2 Ast
UNLV:M. Moser 19 Pts
UNLV:M. Moser 9 Reb
UNLV:A. Marshall 9 Ast

Related Video


CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike White Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

Villanova Wildcats 2016 National Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear!
Shop Now

Daman Starring
Mike Moser
UC Irvine Anteaters
D. Starring, G315-95-651418
A. Young, G291-62-21234
A. Folker, C266-110-030212
C. McNealy, G252-70-21134
M. Best, C140-32-36242
W. Davis II, F-C212-50-03114
M. Wilder, G-F150-22-41132
D. Flowers, G141-50-01022
C. Clifford, C80-20-02020
J. Ryan, C70-11-21101
T. Souza, F71-21-21114
A. Wright, G31-22-20004
R. McConnell, FDid Not Play
C. Woods, GDid Not Play
E. Mala, FDid Not Play
Totals 19-5515-2325102557
UNLV Rebels
M. Moser, F326-166-792419
A. Marshall, G302-71-23926
K. Reinhardt, G274-83-413013
A. Bennett, F235-89-1261319
B. Dejean-Jones, G211-41-25043
J. Hawkins, G223-60-03108
S. Goodman, F192-42-47116
Q. Thomas, F121-32-45154
C. Lopez-Sosa, F122-50-00435
B. Cheaney, G21-20-00002
R. Smith, FDid Not Play
D. Cook, GDid Not Play
D. Morant, FDid Not Play
C. Rushman, GDid Not Play
Totals 27-6324-3539222285
Big West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
UC Irvine12-421-15133
UC Davis11-523-13166
CSNorthridge 7-911-19313
Cal Poly6-1011-20296
UC Riverside5-117-21330

Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Colorado St.13-524-1266
Boise St.12-620-1272
Fresno St.11-720-1376
New Mexico10-817-1486
San Diego St9-919-1498
San Jose St.7-1114-16191
Utah St.7-1114-17181
Air Force4-1412-21251
Other games
MIST 59 Final
BOISE 83 Final
MER 58 Final
GT 62 Final
ILL 75
OHST 68 Final
NAU 50 Final