After a team shooting performance that resulted in 14 made three-pointers, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels was beat by their in-state rival Nevada Wolf Pack in their most recent game.
The Rebels lost 89-60 Sunday, Jan. 31 to the Wolf Pack in Reno in game one of a two-game series between the Silver State rivals.
“Unacceptable effort and [competitiveness] especially in a rivalry game,” head coach TJ Otzelberger said. “That’s not how we practice, that’s not how we prepare. Regardless of what players are available that’s not Runnin’ Rebel basketball [and] it won’t be tolerated.”
Otzelberger is now 0-4 all-time against UNR as a head coach.
In addition, the Wolf Pack have now won their last seven meetings against the Rebels.
As a team, UNLV is now 6-8 overall and 3-4 in the Mountain West conference.
Game two is set for Tuesday, Feb. 2 with tip-off set for 6 p.m.
“It better be easier for our guys to understand how hard we need to play,” Otzelberger said. “There’s such a thing as personal pride, pride in your program, daily habits and things that we need to understand and apparently we didn’t.”
Coming into this game, 41 percent of field goals from Mountain West teams came from beyond the arc.
From tip-off, UNR was on fire from deep making all five of its first three-point attempts of the game.
“We contributed to their ability to make shots based on our competitive spirit [not being] good enough,” Otzelberger said. “From the start, we weren’t as intentioned about what we had talked about doing for whatever reason. We seemed to be complacent and a step slow.”
The first miss from three for the Pack came nearly 10 minutes into the game.
Ending the game with a 58 percent mark from downtown, UNR built a lead as large as 19 points in the first half and would extend that to 31 in the second.
UNR finished with twice as many three-point field goals made as the team’s average on the season.
UNLV was playing out of sorts without leading scorer Bryce Hamilton in the lineup for the second time in four games.
“Obviously we’ve taken a hit with [junior guard] Marvin [Coleman] and now with [Hamilton],” Otzelberger said. “Regardless of that, our guys have a responsibility to play at a much higher level competitively.”
Coleman was ruled out for the season last month after suffering a stress fracture in his right leg.
Prior to the injury, Hamilton ranked second in the Mountain West averaging 18.5 points per game.
Hamilton is currently listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury.
Without that firepower, UNLV struggled to find an offensive rhythm.
Junior guard David Jenkins Jr. was tied for a team-high with 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting from the floor but went 3-of-5 from three-point range.
Jenkins was coming off a 33-point performance against the Utah State Aggies and ranked second in the conference with a 42 percent mark from three-point range.
He also added three assists and three steals before fouling out with a little over five and a half left in regulation.
It was the first time he’s fouled out since Dec. 2 against Davidson.
Reno native Moses Wood was the other Rebel player with 13 points but he struggled shooting the ball in his return to his hometown.
Wood shot 4-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-11 from three despite starting the game 3-of-7 in his third straight start.