Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - The 18th-ranked UNLV Rebels will try to avoid
consecutive setbacks as they host the Iowa State Cyclones at the Thomas & Mack
Center in the third-place game of the Global Sports Classic.
The Cyclones will also try to avoid their first losing streak of the season
after dropping a 78-70 decision to No. 22 Cincinnati on Friday. Iowa State
opened the season with four convincing wins over Southern (82-59), Alabama A&M
(98-40), Campbell (88-68) and North Carolina A&T (86-57) before the Bearcats
derailed its streak. The Cyclones came into the contest with ridiculously-high
averages of 88.5 points, 49.0 rebounds, and 17.8 assists per game. Although
the team was unable to achieve those marks versus Cincy, it still could have
come out on top had it made more than 12-of-21 at the free throw line.
The Runnin' Rebels were very impressive in earlier routs of Northern Arizona
(92-54) and Jacksonville State (83-79). But UNLV's defense was not able to
deliver the same stifling performance versus Oregon in its 83-79 loss in the
semifinals. The defeat ended the team's 20-game home winning streak and
dropped its record this season to 2-1. Coach Dave Rice's team came into the
game shooting 48.7 percent from the floor, but managed to make only 24-of-67
attempts from the floor (.358) versus the Ducks. The Runnin' Rebels did manage
to convert 23-of-25 at the charity stripe, but that was not enough to overcome
their first loss in the rebounding battle or 18 costly turnovers.
This bout marks the first meeting between these schools on the basketball
Iowa State's eight-point loss to the nationally-ranked Bearcats was remarkably
close considering its leading scorer, Will Clyburn, put forth a terrible 2-
of-14 shooting performance. The senior guard was held to a season-low eight
points in the loss, while second-leading scorer, freshman forward Georges
Niang, tallied only five points and went 0-of-5 at the charity stripe. Tyrus
McGee came off the bench to score a season-high 22 points, but the team
struggled overall with a 35-of-67 showing on field goal attempts.
Last season, UNLV ran its offense through Mike Moser, and the power forward
thrived in the leadership role with averages of 14 ppg and 10.5 rpg. The
Runnin' Rebels had one of the top recruiting classes in the nation in the
offseason, but the new mix of players didn't jell versus Oregon. Freshman
sensation Anthony Bennett recorded his first career double-double with 22
points and 10 rebounds, but Moser tallied just nine points on 2-of-6 shooting
from the field. The starting backcourt duo of Katin Reinhardt and Bruce
Dejean-Jones combined for 29 points, but they also combined to go 9-of-27 from
the floor. Reinhardt's three-point shooting (4-of-8) did play a vital role.
The Sports Network