For the first time since the 1994-95 season, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels are 0-2 to open the college basketball season.
UNLV lost to North Carolina, 78-51, in the first round of games at the Maui Invitational Monday, Nov. 30 in Asheville, North Carolina.
This year’s team is averaging losses by 20 points through the first two games.
All-time, the Runnin’ Rebels are 1-5 against the Tar Heels with their lone win coming in 2011 against a No. 1-ranked North Carolina.
UNLV will now await the loser of Stanford-Alabama for a 6:30 p.m. scheduled game Tuesday, Dec. 1.
North Carolina used a 28-4 run from the end of the first half into about halfway through the second half.
The Tar Heels went from trailing by five to leading by more than 20 points.
UNLV went on a 13-0 run to start the game holding North Carolina to without a field goal for the first six-plus minutes of the game.
The second half saw the Tar Heels take control of the game, winning the half 41-21.
The Runnin’ Rebels went scoreless for more than six minutes going 0-for-10 from the field.
In the first half, UNLV had a scoreless drought last for more than three minutes committing three turnovers along the way.
Turnovers were a problem all night for the Runnin’ Rebels committing 17 turnovers, negating the 16 turnovers forced on the defensive end.
North Carolina scored 21 points off those turnovers while UNLV were able to score 13 points on the other end.
The Runnin’ Rebels played the passing lanes all game, coming away with 10 steals in the game scoring 10 fast break points in the first half to the Tar Heels’ two points.
However in the second half, North Carolina outscored UNLV 9-0 in the fast break department.
Three-point shooting also separated the two teams with the Tar Heels making seven of their 20 attempts, good for 35 percent.
The Runnin’ Rebels went 8-for-37 from beyond-the-arc after starting the game 3-for-3 from deep.
Junior guard Bryce Hamilton had a team-high 15 points on 7-for-19 shooting from the field including 1-for-6 from three.
He was held to just four points in the second half on 2-of-9 shooting.
UNLV committed 25 of the 40 fouls called in the game after starting its typical four-guard against the 10th tallest team in the nation.
Four players had at least four fouls, combing for 17 total fouls while scoring just 10 points.
Freshman forward Devin Tillis fouled out of the game.
The free-throw disparity was also glaring as North Carolina went 21-for-32 from the charity stripe while UNLV struggled, going 7-for-15.