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Rebels Ground Air Force

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unlv3857 Rebels Ground Air Force

Rebounding and free-throw shooting, two of UNLV’s weaknesses this season, keyed a second half surge in the Runnin’ Rebels’ 64-52 win at Air Force on Saturday. Off to another cold-shooting start in another tight defensive game, the Rebels found themselves down 28-23 at halftime and trailed by seven a few minutes into the second half before things began to turn around. The Rebels hardly ended their shooting woes, finishing just 41% from the floor, including 6-of-24 from three-point range. But UNLV made 18-of-21 from the free throw line, including an impressive 16-of-17 in the second half. It was the UNLV defense clamping down on the Falcons late in the game and the Rebels’ free throw shooting that allowed them to pull away in the closing minutes.

The Rebels (14-4 overall, 2-2 Mountain West Conference), played without senior guard and #2 scorer Tre’Von Willis, who didn’t make the trip in order to rest a sore knee. Sophomore guard Anthony Marshall started in place of Willis and finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds. But it was the slumping Chace Stanback who led UNLV with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Stanback, UNLV’s leading scorer this season, was just 4-of-17 in the Rebels’ loss at #6 San Diego State on Wednesday night, but hit 6-of-13 on Saturday. He was matched on the boards by senior guard Derrick Jasper, who also pulled down 11 rebounds. Jasper, UNLV’s leading rebounder, has also been in a prolonged offensive slump like most of the team, but chose to focus on other aspects of his game in this one. He finished with just 5 points, making his only attempt from the floor.

The Rebels outrebounded the Falcons 36-26, and held Air Force (10-6, 1-2) to just 42.5% shooting. The Falcons also struggled at the charity stripe, hitting just 12-of-25 free throws. UNLV has now won six straight against Air Force. Next up, the Runnin’ Rebels return home to the Thomas & Mack Center to host Colorado State on Wednesday night.

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