Kudos to whoever scheduled Incarnate Word for the game after Duke came to town. UNLV ran the Cardinals right out of the T&M by almost 30 in a feel good performance where every Rebel who played contributed.
A lot of Rebels deserve praise in this one, starting with Tyrell Green. Right now he's definitely the most improved Rebel (Not saying much since he's 1 of 3 returners), but he is also one of the most improved players in the country. Green continued his high level play tonight by putting up a game high 21 points and wrangling in 10 rebounds, recording a very strong double-double.
There's a lot of baby faced freshmen on this team, but three in particular played like grown men in this game. Cheickna Dembele saw his first extended run of the season and the 6'11 shot blocker made the most of his minutes. Despite ultimately fouling out, Dembele was a force inside and he used a bevy of powerful post moves on his way to 13 points and 7 boards. His play was contagious as Troy Baxter got in on the festivities also. The athlete extraordinaire from Oldsmar, Florida played his best game thus far as a Rebel and he did it by displaying a lethal midrange jumpshot that was unstoppable. Baxter almost had a double-double himself by totaling 10 points and 8 caroms. Zion Morgan's stat line might not have been as impressive as the other 2 mentioned above (7 points and 1 assist), but the Chicago product came in off the bench and provided a much needed defensive spark and demonstrated a poise and moxy which belied his youthfulness.
This really was a total team effort. The team's leading scorer Jalen Poyser had an uncharacteristically quiet night scoring the ball with 7 points, but his teammates picked up the slack for him and then some. Kris Clyburn might have had the quietest double-double that I've seen from a Rebel in a long time. His 13 points and 12 rebounds were huge for Menzies and his team, but it was just one impressive stat-line among many this evening. Jovan Mooring also played tremendous with 17 points off the bench.
This feel good performance might be short lived though. A trip to Portland and the Oregon Ducks loom this Satruday, but UNLV couldn't have asked for more from a team that just suffered one of its worse losses in school history. Everyone came to play and a 28 point rout of the opposition was the result.