After 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.”
Morgan 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 562.522.6485