Runnin’ Rebels Prepare for Lobos Without Ben Carter

by Morgan Evens – February 1, 2016

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels prepare to take on the New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque Tuesday a 5:00 p.m. without the assistance of junior forward Ben Carter.

Saturday night against the Aztecs Carter left midgame with a knee injury; Monday it was announced that Carter had torn his left anterior cruciate ligament, and would be out for the rest of the season.

Missing Carter’s leadership the Rebels fell down to the Aztecs, 67-52, now 13-9 for the season, and No. 7 in the Mountain West Conference.

“We are very disappointed for Ben,” interim coach Todd Simon said. “He was obviously an impact player for us, but more than that he is a pillar of our program with his toughness, spirit and leadership. It is a huge loss for our team.”

The Rebels ended the night shooting, 22-60, 37% from the field and grabbing only 27 rebounds compared to the Aztec 44.

With Carter out and byes at stake for the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament it will be every players job to step-up.

“It’s a good thing for everybody to be able to step-up in the leader role, and know that we need him (Carter) and he’s always there to support,” freshman forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. said.

Zimmerman Jr. ended the night with a double-double, scoring 14 points and earning 10 rebounds.

With the second half of Mountain West Conference games beginning the Rebels will have to persevere and make strong improvements if they want a chance to move on post conference.

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Morgan EvansMorgan Evans is a UNLV junior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a focus in Integrated Marketing and Communications. She is the Las Vegas Cowboys publicist and a writer for UNLV’s online news source, Virtual Rebel. After graduating Morgan plans to pursue a job as the PR head of a major sports organization. Contact: Morgan Evans Email: mo.evans016@gmail.com Phone: 562.522.6485

UNLV Conquers Air Force 100-64

UNLVAfter Hitting What They Could Only Describe as “ROCK BOTTOM”, The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Ran Down The Air Force Academy Falcons, 100-64, at 7:00 p.m. Saturday Night at The Thomas & Mack Center.

By Morgan Evans – January 17, 2016
After losing Head Coach Dave Rice the question of what would become of the Rebels season was on everyone’s mind, but with the guidance of Interim Head Coach Todd Simon UNLV grabbed their second conference win.

Starting senior guard Jerome Seagears ended the night with 17 points and two rebounds.

“Everybody knew how Coach felt,” Seagears said. “Now it’s like we hit rock bottom, so it’s only up from there.”

Since Tuesdays win against New Mexico the team was fired-up and ready to earn themselves a blowout against Air Force.

26 seconds into the game the Rebels were on the scoreboard thanks to a jump-start by sophomore forward Dwayne Morgan who finished the night with eight points, eight rebounds and an assist.

The Runnin’ Rebels showed their power as they successfully executed a 3-2 zone defense and an aggressive full-court press, helping them earn an impressive 52 rebounds which was led by freshman forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr..

Zimmerman Jr. ended the night with another double-double of 12 rebounds along with 14 points, two blocks, an assist and a turnover.

While the UNLV defense kept Air Force from gaining momentum, Simons shooting practices paid off as the offense shined like it hadn’t before.

“When you focus on all these small things that aren’t necessarily small and you start putting them together, you start getting results,” Simon said. “… Those things don’t happen just one-on-one or that kind of basketball. It happens because you take care of the ball and you get enough possessions. It happens because you get up and pressure defensively on every single possession. It’s just got to be who our DNA is.”

The Rebels shot 95% from the free-throw line, making 19-20 shots, and freshman forward Derrick Jones Jr. and Seagears couldn’t be stopped.

Jones Jr. was the leading scorer ending the night with 22 points and 10 rebounds earning his second career double-double, while Seagears stunned all as he ended the night shooting 5-5 from the three-point field.

The Runnin’ Rebels are determine to finish the season strong with the help of Simon.

“We still think we can win the league,” sophomore guard Jordan Cornish said, “ point-blank period.”
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Morgan EvansMorgan Evans is a UNLV junior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a focus in Integrated Marketing and Communications. She is the Las Vegas Cowboys publicist and a writer for UNLV’s online news source, Virtual Rebel. After graduating Morgan plans to pursue a job as the PR head of a major sports organization. Contact: Morgan Evans Email: mo.evans016@gmail.com Phone: 562.522.6485

Runnin’ Rebels Take Down No. 15 Oregon!

UNLV Rebels photo by Joey Walker

UNLV Rebels photo by Joey Walker

Don’t Call It An Upset, Call It SUCCESS; The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Took Down No. 15  Oregon Ducks, 80-69, at 8:00 p.m. Friday Night at The MGM Grand Garden Arena.

by Morgan Evans
The arena was filled with the piercing sound of UNLV fans, and the Rebels did not disappoint as they took down their second ranked opponent of the season. The Runnin’ Rebels are a team filled with depth like no other, and are making a name for themselves as they go.
“Once again this season, our depth won out,” Head Coach Dave Rice said. “One can only start five guys, can only play five guys at a time, and our guys have been so accepting of what we are trying to do, and I’m really really proud of it.”

Starting senior transfer guards Ike Nwamu and Jerome Seagears were on fire; Nwamu led the team with 19 points and Seagears finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

“We really wanted to come out and be aggressive,” Nwamu said. “Once the opportunity came, we got a lot of great offense with attacking, we just took it. It’s a product of hard work, really.”

Nwamu shot 71.4 percent from the 3-point range, making 5 of 7 attempts.

The current Mountain West Conference Player of the Week, sophomore Patrick McCaw continued to be an asset on the court; McCaw scored 14 points, making two rebounds, two assists and four turnovers.

With a win all could be proud of, this one was especially sweet for senior forward Ben Carter.

“I definitely had a little more incentive playing against my old team, my old coaching staff, but it was looking at a week before this game I told everyone it’s just another grab for us to play against a ranked team, and a great team at that, and our team responded today,” Carter said.

Born and raised in Las Vegas Carter returned to play for the Runnin’ Rebels after spending two years up in Oregon for the Ducks basketball team; Carter finished the night with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists, a block and a turnover.

With Carter back in his hometown, himself and “Hometown Hero” freshman forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. are a pair of which the city is proud.

Suffering with an ankle injury Zimmerman Jr. was ready to battle through the pain.

“100 percent, my teammates keeping me moving and thinking about other things,” Zimmerman Jr. said. “I know my team need me and that this is a mans game; whatever

pain you have at the time you have to push through it for the betterment of the team.”

Zimmerman Jr. earned his fourth double-double tallying 12 points and 12 rebounds, along with two assists and four blocks.

While Zimmerman Jr. shot 5 of 14 from the field, he hit two free throws with 16:15 left on the clock in the second half, giving the Rebels the biggest lead of the game, 55-35.

The ducks were able to close the gap 59-54 before old teammate Carter, along with the help of McCaw and Zimmerman, were able to give UNLV another double-digit lead.

While Oregon was able to close the gap periodically throughout the game, Head Coach Dana Altman recognized that UNLV was a force they may not of been able to reckon with.

“We got it down a couple times, but we just put ourselves in a bad position and never quite got it back,” Altman said. “They’ve got an athletic ball club, when they get those 3s going they’re pretty tough. We had our shot, we just weren’t tough enough to do it.”

The Rebels went 5 for 5 for free throws in the first half; ending the game shooting 85.7 percent from the free throw line while the Ducks shot a bleak 61.9 percent.

After delivering the No. 15 ranked team their only loss so far is this season, the now 7-1 Runnin’ Rebels are celebrating their victory, but also preparing for their away game Wednesday against Wichita State.

“The win is special for me, but it’s also special for this team,” Carter said.

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Morgan EvansMorgan Evans is a UNLV junior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a focus in Integrated Marketing and Communications. She is the Las Vegas Cowboys publicist and a writer for UNLV’s online news source, Virtual Rebel. After graduating Morgan plans to pursue a job as the PR head of a major sports organization. Contact: Morgan Evans Email: mo.evans016@gmail.com Phone: 562.522.6485

Rebels Power Through Panthers for Another Win

by Morgan Evans, November 29, 2015

photo by Jeremy Rincon

photo by Jeremy Rincon

Improving Their Record To 6-1, The UNLV “Runnin” Rebels Earned Themselves an 80-62 WIN Over The Prairie View A&M at The Thomas and Mack Saturday.

Despite a slow start to the game sophomore guard Patrick McCaw was the leading scorer with 18 points, five rebounds, seven assist and five steals.

“Patrick McCaw was the leader he always is,” Head Coach Dave Rice said.

Freshman forward Derrick Jones Jr. and Junior forward Ben Carter were ready to step up to the plate.

Jones Jr. added 14 points, with 12 points coming from the second half, and junior forward Ben Carter added another 10 points to the scoreboard.

Freshman forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. had a perfect 6-for-6 record from the free throw line with a total of 10 points and six rebounds before leaving the game with a sprained ankle during the first half.

Despite winning the game, the first half was one UNLV wishes to forget.

Tied 42-42, the Rebels had 10 turnovers and allowed the Panthers to shoot 50 percent from the field during the first 20 minutes of the game.

“We were getting hurt with our trapping,” Rice said. “We just didn’t have the energy level in the first half, so we pulled up the trap and went straight man-to-man.”

After what Rice could only describe as a more “spirited” pep talk than usual the Rebels came out of halftime fired up and ready for a win.

 photo by Jeremy Rincon

photo by Jeremy Rincon

UNLV sophomore Goodluck Okonoboh transferred out of the program Friday leaving the team with a void. needing to However, transfer junior forward Tyrell Green was ready to be that impact player.

“Transfers happen. Unfortunately it’s part of college basketball,” Carter said. “I told Tyrell it’s your turn. It’s time for you to put your, you know, footprint on this team, and to become a rotational player for us and take those minutes.”

In his 15 minutes on the court Green stepped up to the plate; Green totaled nine points and six rebounds.

With a big game coming up on Friday Dec. 4 a few days for preparation is just what the Rebels need before they take on No. 21 Oregon, currently 5-0, at the MGM Grand Arena. Start Time 8 PM. For Tickets Go TO www.UNLVRebels.com

“It’s a great opportunity for our team,” Carter said. “To play another ranked opponent, it’s great for our program too.”

Since coaching at UNLV Rice is looking to grab his 10th win against a ranked opponent is hopeful the team can overcome the injuries, illnesses and player loss and turn out the win.
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Morgan EvansMorgan Evans is a UNLV junior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a focus in Integrated Marketing and Communications. She is the Las Vegas Cowboys publicist and a writer for UNLV’s online news source, Virtual Rebel. After graduating Morgan plans to pursue a job as the PR head of a major sports organization.

Contact: Morgan Evans
Email: mo.evans016@gmail.com
Phone: 562.522.6485