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Rebels Hold On For Big Win

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unlv3857 Rebels Hold On For Big Win

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) – Oscar Bellfield made a key late three-pointer, as the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels took down the short-handed 11th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats 63-59 on Tuesday night.

Bellfield ended with 11 points for the Rebels (11-2), who defeated a team

ranked as high or higher than No. 11 for the first time since the 2007 NCAA

Tournament when they defeated then-No. 6 Wisconsin to advance to the Sweet 16.

Tre’Von Willis led the way with 16 points for UNLV, which has won two in a row

since a two-game skid. Anthony Marshall tallied 11 points off the bench.

“We pride ourselves on keeping our heads up and always bringing a fight,”

Willis said. “It was a great crowd, and we knew it was us against everyone

else. We knew we had to stay together and try to accomplish the win.”

Nick Russell finished with 12 points for the Wildcats (9-3), who were forced

to play without their top two scorers. Seniors Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly

were ruled ineligible by the school prior to the game for a secondary

violation of NCAA rules.

Rodney McGruder and Jamar Samuels each had 11 points for Kansas State, which

has lost two in a row. Martavious Irving chipped in with 10 points.

Will Spradling’s three-pointer and McGruder’s slam has the Wildcats within

one, 52-51, with 7 1/2 minutes to play. But Kansas State quickly went cold

from the field.

Anthony Marshall’s three-point play had the Rebels ahead by four, 55-51, with

over seven minutes to go. The next points in the game didn’t come until Jordan

Henriquez-Roberts made two free throws for Kansas State with 5:50 remaining.

Another long scoring drought took place after Marshall made 1-of-2 from the

foul line for a 56-53 margin with 5 1/2 minutes left.

Samuels made 1-of-2 free throws with 2 1/2 minutes to go, but Bellfield

responded with a big three-pointer one minute later to make it 59-54.

“We were kind of struggling to get points,” Bellfield said. “I got the ball,

and I did not even think about it; I just let it go.”

Kansas State finally made a shot from the floor when Irving made a layup with

22 seconds left. UNLV made 4-of-4 shots from the charity stripe the rest of

the way to seal the victory.

“We are immature. Somewhere along the lines our guys think that you can win

basketball games without passing the basketball,” Kansas State head coach

Frank Martin said. “We had six assists and 23 turnovers and all 23 were non-

aggressive turnovers. It is frustrating to watch.”

The Rebels raced out to a 15-7 lead early on. That margin increased to 28-19

on Bellfield’s layup with under 6 1/2 minutes left.

Kansas State fought back with 10 unanswered points to take their first lead of

the game. Irving’s layup made it 29-28, and the Wildcats took a 34-32 edge

into the locker room.

Game Notes

UNLV leads the all-time series with KSU, 4-2…Pullen and Kelly received

impermissible benefits on the purchase of clothing at a Manhattan department

store. Pullen, who entered the year as the Big 12 preseason player of the

year, is averaging 16.5 points and 3.8 assists this season. He will miss three

games for his actions. Kelly is averaging 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds. The

NCAA has yet to rule on Kelly’s status…The Wildcats had won 28 consecutive

non-conference home games dating back to 2007…UNLV head coach Lon Kruger,

who not only starred for the Wildcats on the court as a two-time Big Eight

Player of the Year from 1971-74, coached the squad to 81 wins and four NCAA

Tournament appearances from 1986-90…Kansas State turned the ball over 23

times, leading to 21 UNLV points.

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