Runnin’ Rebels fall to Boise State in their Mountain West Conference opener.
Chandler Hutchinson and the Boise State Broncos were too much for UNLV as they fall to 0-1 in the conference and Boise State improves to 2-0.
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Shakur Juiston shined for UNLV, but he did not receive enough support from his teammates to overcome a talented Boise State team.
Coming out the break, everything was looking good for UNLV. They held a 37 to 35 lead, and proceeded to trade baskets with the Broncos, increasing their lead to 43 to 37 in the first two and a half minutes in the second half. But, over the next two and half minutes, the wheels came off, as Boise State would put together an 11-0 run and seize control of the momentum and the game.
The Broncos, led by 32 points from Chandler Hutchinson, beat UNLV using their own game. They attacked on offense, constantly pushing the pace in transition for easy lay ups, while also attacking the boards.
Shakur Juiston and Brandon McCoy are two of the top rebounders in the nation, with each averaging double figures per game. However, looking at the box score one would never guess that, as Boise out rebounded the Rebels 48 to 29. Especially in the second half, it looked as it the Broncos had twice as many players when going after rebounds, and that’s because they basically did. There was a focused effort from Boise State when it came to team rebounding on both the offensive and defensive glass. UNLV has become accustomed to being able to rely and Juiston and McCoy to dominate the glass, but against a team like Boise, who can match them size wise, they can’t do that and expect to win. Another area of concern that reared its ugly head again tonight, was UNLVs perimeter shooting.
They finished the night 6 for 22, or a paltry 27%. Jordan Johnson went 3-7, Jovan Mooring 2-9, and Kris Clyburn 1-4, with most of those misses coming in the second half. To coach Leon Rice’s credit, he made the decision to scrap man defense all together in the second half, switching to a zone that the cold shooting Rebels could never break.
For Boise State, they received a stellar performance from possible first round draft pick Chandler Hutchinson. Whenever UNLV did hit a shot in the second half and attempt to get back into the game, he was there to shift the momentum back to the Broncos side. For the night he tallied 32 points, on an ultra efficient 13 of 18 shooting and hit all three of his 3-point attempts. The only other Bronco to finish in double figures was forward Zach Haney, notching 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Runnin’ Rebels were led by their two big men, Shakur Juiston and Jordan Johnson, with Juiston finishing with 25 points and Johnson 20. Star Freshman Brandon McCoy had a good first game as well, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Boise State takes on New Mexico on January 3rd, at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.
The Runnin’ Rebels travel to San Jose State on January 3rd, looking to notch their first conference win of the season.