Rebels play terrible, still get victory.

You could see it coming after two emotional wins vs. BYU and Utah earlier in the week, but the letdown UNLV had on Wednesday night nearly cost them. Fortunately for the Rebel faithful, the defense picked it up just time to pull away down the stretch...

All the makings of a disaster were in place Wednesday night at the Thomas and Mack before 9,764 fans. The Rebels had just come off a hard fought win over then first place Utah. The game prior they beat BYU on a buzzer beater. And to top it off the Rebels second leading scorer, Marcus Banks, was unable to play due to a sprained ankle.

To say UNLV started out slow would be an understatement. Coach Charlie Spoonhour looked for any combination to ignite the Rebels, but none worked in the first half. Florida International's Carlos Morban sliced his way through the Rebel defense for 16 of his game high 22 points in the half. A confident Golden Panther team went into the halftime break with a 41-34 lead.

The Golden Panther's upped their lead to a game high 10 points early in the second half.

The Rebels used a full court press to get back into the game. Four straight turnovers aided an 11-0 Rebel run to give UNLV the lead at 51-49, but Florida International battled back to take a 60-55 lead shortly thereafter.

The Rebels then went on an 8-0 to overtake the Golden Panther's for good when Louis Amundson converted a three point play with seven and a half minutes remaining to take 61-60 lead.

Jevon Banks filled in nicely for Marcus Banks with a career high 16 points while adding 5 rebounds and 5 assists with no turnovers.

Dalron Johnson provided most of the offense for the Rebels with 22 points on 6-11 shooting and 9-10 free throws. He also added seven rebounds.

The victory lifted the Rebels to 14-8 on the season.

UNLV next faces first place Wyoming in Laramie Saturday afternoon.


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