UNLV’s Comeback Bid Against Illinois Falls Short
The Rebels came back from 14 down but could not get the win.
UNLV loses its first true road game of the year.
The UNLV Runnin Rebels (4-4) were in search of their first road win as the team traveled away from Las Vegas for the first time this season. The Illinois Fighting Illini (3-7) also needed a win following a three-game losing streak. The Illini were able to maintain the lead down the stretch and pick up a win, 77-74.
The Illini were led by Andres Feliz (18 points, 2 assists) who came off the bench and lead the team in scoring and minutes. Feliz was not the only Illini player to come off the bench and make an impact in the game. Samba Kane had a total of 15 minutes coming into the game and finished with (16 minutes, 8 points, 2 blocks).
In the second game in a row, UNLV picked up their intensity in the final eight minutes of the game. The Rebels trailed by as much as 14 points in the second half 8:15 of the game. UNLV cut the lead down to nine. After forcing a turnover followed by two Amauri Hardy free throws a comeback for the Rebels looked possible.
Illinois tried to play against the clock and UNLV almost won the game. Forcing turnovers down the stretch including two shot clock violations. In the final minute of the game, the score was 74-70. While down by three a turnover from Amauri Hardy was UNLV’s last possession of the game sealed the win for the Illini.
UNLV Struggled shooting the basketball finishing the game shooting 33.8% from the field. Both teams only made six threes. There are some positives to take away from this most recent loss for the Rebels. Joel Ntambwe scored (18 points) he is emerging after the past two games as a credible three-point option for the Rebs. Mbacke Diong recorded the first double-double of his career with (13 points, 13 rebounds) Diong’s presence was huge a factor in the middle on both ends of the court.
Up next: The Runnin Rebels will try to pick up a win against BYU on Dec. 15 in a game that will take place in Las Vegas at the TMobile arena. It is billed as a neutral site game, but UNLV will still look for a strong hometown showing from Vegas fans.
Check out highights from the game.