Rebels come back to beat ODU

It was deja vu all over again for the Rebels. As has been the case several times this season, UNLV had to overcome a poor first half with a blistering second half to turn a seemingly sure loss into a victory. And as has been the case in those victories, the charge was led by native Las Vegan Marcus Banks.

It was deja vu all over again for the Rebels. As has been the case several times this season, UNLV had to overcome a poor first half with a blistering second half to turn a seemingly sure loss into a victory. And as has been the case in those victories, the charge was led by native Las Vegan Marcus Banks.

Marcus Banks shot 9-15 from the floor and converted all 11 of his free throws to set a new career high with 31 points. Banks has now set a career high in points in four straight games.

UNLV started the game with very little energy on both sides of the ball as Old Dominion nailed shot after shot. The Monarchs led by a game high 14 points at 32-18 with five and a half minutes remaining in the first half after John Waller, who led ODU with 20 points, connected on a three pointer. The Rebels were able to cut the lead to 42-32 by halftime.

The Rebels did not make a serious run at the Monarchs until the midway point of the second half. Marcus Banks hit a three pointer and followed a minute later with a fastbreak layup to cut the Monarch lead to 56-49. After exchanged baskets by the two teams, the Rebels seemed to lose the wind out of their sails when Chris Richardson was called for a controversial goal tending on a three point shot by Waller. Waller's shot caromed high off the rim, but the referees ruled that Richardson grabbed the rebound while it was still in the imaginary cylinder above the rim. The call gave ODU a 10 point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining.

The Rebels found themselves down by the same margin with six minutes remaining before receiving some much needed help from reserve Jevon Banks. Banks scored all nine of his points over the last six minutes of the game including a clutch three pointer to cut the Monarch lead to three at 71-68 with just under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Marcus Banks put the Rebels up for good two minutes later with a three pointer to give the Rebels a 76-73 lead. From there, the Rebels converted 6-7 free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory.

In addition to the heroics by the Banks boys, Dalron Johnson contributed his second double-double in a row with 19 points and 14 rebounds after struggling in the first half.

The victory puts the Rebels at 7-4 this season. UNLV next faces the Wyoming Cowboys Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in the conference opener for both teams.


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