Runnin’ Rebels secure big win over former conference front runner SDSU.
Marvin Menzies San Diego recruit Brandon McCoy scores game high 21 points against Aztecs.
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Brandon McCoy hammers team that he spurned during the recruiting the process.
The Mountain West, and college basketball, is better when UNLV is relevant, and this was a major step in showing that the Marvin Menvies led Runnin’ Rebels are on the right track. Granted the Aztecs are not the same team they were 4, 5, or 6 years ago, when the were dominating the west coast, but this is still a major sign that UNLV is on track.
Back in April, Menzies went into SDSU’s backyard and snatched up a five star recruit he had no business in getting, and tonight, that recruit delivered against his schools biggest rival. After a Tervell Beck block on SDSU’s Malik Pope, Cathedral Catholics, Brandon McCoy would score the first basket for UNLV and that would dictate the rest of the night. The freshman center would finish with a game high 21 points, on 9 of 12 shooting, exposing the front court deprived Aztecs. He was only matched by his front court mate Shakur Juiston, who also finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
After leading for the entirety of the first half, SDSU seemed to secure control of the momentum, taking their first lead at the 1:41 mark of the first half, and heading into half time tied at 38.
After each team traded baskets to open the second half, SDSU forward Jalen McDaniels would make a lay up to put the Aztecs up one, 40 to 39. That would be the last time the Aztecs would lead.
Tervell Beck would follow the McDaniels basket with a 3-pointer, and UNLV would never trail again. To date, this would be Becks biggest basket of the season. UNLV finished the night shooting 58% from the field, compared to 44% by the Aztecs.
SDSU was paced by junior guard Jeremy Hemsley, who finished with 19 points on an efficient 7 of 12 shooting, coming off the bench.
UNLV received big games from all the players that it needs to receive big games from in order to be successful. McCoy and Juiston, as mentioned above, each tallied 21. Point guard Jordan Johnson finished with 14 points, and senior guard Jovan Mooring notched 12 of his own.
The win moves the Rebels into 7th place in the conference and drops the Aztecs to 8th.
The Runnin’ Rebels face the Spartans of SJSU, who they barely beat in San Jose, on January 31st at the Thomas & Mack.
The Aztecs get a rebound game against the Falcons of Air Force, on February 3rd.