Rebels wreak havoc defensively in wire-to-wire victory
The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (2-0) continued their early momentum with a win against the Incarnate Word Cardinals (0-2) Saturday, Nov. 12, 88-63, from the Thomas & Mack Center.
A strong start to both halves propelled UNLV to an insurmountable lead. It never trailed today against Incarnate Word.
Head coach Kevin Kruger was pleased by the way the team shared the ball on offense.
“A lot of good plays for each other,” Kruger said postgame. “Even though [we ended] up with 17 assists, it just may not have shown up as much.”
An 8-0 run to open the game was bested by a 13-0 run to start the 2nd half by the home team. Elsewhere Kruger’s squad showed high-end potential on both sides of the ball.
Sophomore guard Keshon Gilbert was the leading scorer from today’s game. He finished with 23 points on 60% from the field to go along with four three-pointers and four steals.
Per his admittance, his confidence is high in the early part of the season. When asked if conference play started tomorrow would this team be ready his answer was concise.
“Yes sir,” he responded. “Because we’re [all] ready.”
The second-year player has set back-to-back career-highs in scoring.
As a whole, the Runnin’ Rebels caused problems defensively for the Cardinals. They generated 25 turnovers, with 17 steals and five blocks.
Six steals came from senior wing Luis Rodriguez. His final stat line also included 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.
“Just showing I can do a little bit of everything,” Rodriguez said after the game. “I think that comes with playing hard.”
Offensively UNLV combined a steady attack, translating to 29 free throw attempts, with a 47%-mark shooting from outside the arc (7-of-15).
Sophomore guard Jackie Johnson III provided a scoring punch off-the-bench with 13 points in 19 minutes.
Up next for the Runnin’ Rebels is a true test. They host the No. 24 Dayton Flyers Tuesday, Nov. 15 from the Thomas & Mack Center. Fans are encouraged to wear black during the team’s Blackout game against a tournament team from a season ago.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.