Runnin’ Rebels remain unbeaten, beat USD toreros

Back in Southern California, this time the UNLV rebels faced the USD toreros. The Rebels won, just like they did in the first seven games of their season. The Rebels’ unbeaten run is now 8-0 after a convincing 95-78 win over the Bullfighters.

The Rebels got off to a slow start despite winning easily. In the first six minutes of the first half, they were only able to score three points from a 5-3 deficit. But after the game was tied 12-12, the Rebels broke up. After a Jackie Johnson III jumper, the Rebels went 33-16 on a 21-2 run.

Head coach Kevin Kruger said the week-long break is something he’s concerned about as his team hasn’t had that long a break this season.

“I thought they responded incredibly well,” Kruger said. “When the guys come out and adapt, they’ve shown they’re pretty good.”

The toreros cut the Rebels’ lead to 37-26 with three minutes left and gave the impression that they were catching up. The Rebels came back on a 12-2 run and led 49-28 at halftime.

In the first half, the Rebels shot 51% from the field and 43% from three-point range. And their defense limited the toreros to 38% of their field goal attempts and 27% of their three-point attempts.

As each team came up from halftime, they traded buckets. But with 13 minutes remaining, guard Justin Webster’s successful free throws increased the Rebels’ lead to 69-43. This would allow the Rebels to go into cruise control for the rest of the game. After Webster scored a three-pointer to give the Rebels an 80-49 advantage, they clinched their biggest lead of the game.

The rebels emptied their bench with three minutes remaining, allowing the toreros to inflate the final score. The Rebels won the game 95-78, but the game was uglier than the displayed score. 10 rebels scored against the toreros. Overall, the Rebels’ field goal percentage was 52% and their three-point percentage was an impressive 48%. Their offense put in a strong performance, recording 38 bank points and 31 points on fast counterattacks.

Kruger said the depth of this team will either make or break their season.

“If you can come on off the bench four or five minutes into the game when the teams are still on good terms, that’s crucial,” Kruger said. “That’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to.”

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  • Guard Luis Rodriguez ended the game with 19 points. He also added five rebounds and an assist.
  • Guard Elijah Harkless finished the night with 17 points, five assists, a rebound and a steal.
  • Guard Justin Webster scored 16 points in 19 minutes off the bench.

On December 7th, the 8-0 Rebels host the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. However, they will host them at the Dollar Loan Center instead of taking the stage at the Thomas and Mack Arena.