UNLV Drop Home Opener To Loyola Marymount, 61-50
Rebels outscored in the second half.
What happened in the second half?
UNLV hosted Loyola Marymount from the Big West (1-0) for their season opener. LMU continues their winning streak and move to (2-0) on the season.
It was a defensive slugfest to start the game With both teams struggling to score baskets. UNLV took a 10-8 lead in the first half and looked to be in control of the ball game with excellent defense.
The Rebels held the Lions to just 18 points in the half, Forcing eight turnovers and held the lions to just 25.8% shooting from the field. Mbacke Diong looked phenomenal as the man in the middle with two blocks as UNLV went into halftime with a 25-18 lead.
The second half did not go as planned for the Rebels. Turnovers proved to be the achilles’ heel for the Rebels finishing with 24 turnovers.
The team could not move the ball effectively against the zone defense. To many forced passes lead to easy buckets for the lions. The true turning point of the game came when James Batemon hit back to back threes for Loyola with 6:49 left to go in the second half.
Which put LMU up 46-38. Even a late substitution of Ben Coupet Jr. for a defense spark was too little to late. With no credible threat from outside the Rebels did not have the offensive weapons to comeback in the game. Loyola Marymount won the contest with a final score of 61-50 James Batemon finished with 27 points to lead the Lions.
Going forward it will be interesting to see how Coach Marvin Menzies switches up his lineups in the first ten minutes alone Menzies used ten players and made six substitutions. A style of play focused around traditional big men can work for the Rebels the team just has to find reliable guard play as the season goes on
Next up for the Rebels (0-1) is a home game against UC Riverside.