UNLV Rebels dismantle Life Pacific, continue undefeated season

Source: UNLV Athletics

The UNLV men’s basketball team welcomed the Life Pacific Warriors to campus for their seventh game of the year, and the Rebels prevailed for the seventh game in a row. The Rebels defeated the Warriors by a score of 125-54.

Head coach Kevin Kruger said he is proud of the group for being locked in and competing together.

“Proud of their spacing, sharing the ball, and them making plays for each other,” Kruger said. “I thought they just did a really good job of that.”

The first six minutes of the first half saw the game back and forth despite the Rebels’ 16-10 advantage. With 13 minutes left in the first half, the Rebels took control of the game after Rebel guard Jackie Johnson III made a layup. With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, the Rebels went on a 10-0 run as they firmly claimed control of the game with a 30-12 advantage.

Guard Jordan McCabe made a three-pointer with eight minutes remaining in the half to give the Rebels their first 20-point lead at 39-19. The Rebels launched an offensive onslaught as a result, and they remained in cruise control for the remainder of the half. The biggest lead of the half for the Rebels was 65-33 after guard Justin Webster made a three-pointer. After a few Warriors free throws, the Rebels led 65-39 at the half.

The first half could only be described as total dominance. The Rebels’ offense took off, making 65% of their field goals and 54% of their three-point attempts. The Rebels played solid defense, limiting the Warriors to 40% field goal shooting and 36% from beyond the arc. Simply a dominant first half display by the Rebels, but things only got more dominant from there.

In the second half, the Rebels outscored the Warriors 61-18. The Rebels went on a 15-0 run to start the second half and led 80-39 at the break. Rebel guard Nick Walters made a layup with two minutes left in the contest to give the Rebels a 123-54 lead. Given that these were Walters’ first-ever points in Division I, this was significant. Then, Rebel guard Shane Norwell converted a free throw to end the contest and give his team a 126-54 victory.

Kruger said that he felt like the team checked off boxes they talked about prior to the game.

“Sometimes when you don’t cross paths with a team a lot of times, you’ve really got to lock in the scouting report,” Kruger said. “I thought for the most part, we had a good showing in that.”

The Rebels’ offense secured a 72-point win, a season high. They had five players in double digits and an additional nine players got on the board. The Rebel offense posted season-high percentages from the field (62%), and from three-point range (58%). The Rebels showed selflessness by assisting 32 of their 52 made buckets. The Warriors shot just 29% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc thanks to the Rebel defense.

Key Performers

Forward Karl Jones had a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds. He also added one assist, one steal, and three blocks. 

Guard Jackie Johnson III finished the night with 14 points, two rebounds, three assists, and one steal. 

Guard Jordan McCabe tallied 12 points, two rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. 

According to the university, the Rebels’ 7-0 start is their best in 11 years. When they visit the UC San Diego King Tritons on Dec. 3, they hope to improve on their historic start.

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