Hamilton leads second half surge for Runnin’ Rebels
Senior guard Bryce Hamilton may be putting the final touches on a Mountain West Player of the Year campaign for the ages.
Hamilton helped lead UNLV to a 62-54 win over the Nevada – Reno Wolf Pack, Tuesday, Feb. 22, from the Lawlor Events Center.
The win secured the first three-game win streak of the conference schedule for the Runnin’ Rebels and the first since December.
Furthermore, it signified a season sweep for UNLV over UNR, making it the first time since the 2012-13 season that it happened.
Moreover, it marks the third season sweep for the Rebels.
UNLV is now 4-6 on the road and have won back-to-back road games.
In addition, the team is 17-11 overall this season and 9-6 in the Mountain West.
Two consecutive home games lie ahead on the schedule for the Rebels, starting with Boise State Saturday, Feb. 26.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
UNLV turned a three-point halftime deficit into an eventual eight-point win behind a strong second half.
Hamilton scored on the first play of the second half, reaching 10 points in the process.
The Rebels would continue to scratch and claw their way back into the game, before finally taking a two-point lead. It was the team’s first lead since 14:05 in the first half.
In that same first half, UNLV went scoreless for close to six minutes.
That was part of an ultimate 15-3 run that saw the team build its largest lead to that point, six points.
On that run, Hamilton went three for his last four field goals.
Hamilton’s reign continued later in the half, reaching 20 points for the 16th time this season.
Despite building a lead as large as seven points, UNR battled back before a Hamilton three-point dagger pushed the deficit to 10 for the home team.
Before the end of the game, the Rebels would lead by as many as 12 points.
All nine players who played for UNLV scored but nobody other than Hamilton would reach double-figures.
Hamilton scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-25 shooting with five made three-pointers.
Another major change in the second half was limiting turnovers.
The Rebels were forced into nine first half turnovers but limited that number to three in the second half.
While working through turnover issues, UNLV was consistent in controlling the rebounding battle.
The team is 16-0 when outrebounding its opponent, as made evident by the 41-34 advantage this time around.
UNR guard Grant Sherfield lit up UNLV for 10 points in the first half including a buzzer-beating basket.
Yet, he was held without a field goal for the final 9:54 of the game.
This year’s Runnin’ Rebel team is 11-0 when holding its opponent under 60 points.