UNLV Easily Wins Opener Over Purdue Fort Wayne, 86-71

UNLV Easily Wins Opener Over Purdue Fort Wayne, 86-71

Mountain West Basketball

UNLV Easily Wins Opener Over Purdue Fort Wayne, 86-71

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UNLV Easily Wins Opener Over Purdue Fort Wayne, 86-71


Rebels are 1-0 on the year.


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Otzelberger gets first win in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS – The UNLV Rebels pick up the win in their season opener in T.J. Otzelberger’s first game on the sideline. The Runnin’ Rebels are now (1-0) on the season.

Picking up an 86-71 victory over the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons should have the team feeling good about the matchup Saturday against Kansas State.

UNLV looked like a completely new team and that’s because they basically are. Part of Otzelbergers rebuild has been bringing in transfer players who can make an impact and they did just that.

The starting lineup consisted of returning players Amari Hardy and Mbacke Diong and new to the Runnin’ Rebels Elijah Mitrou-Long Jonah Antonio, Donnie Tillman to round out the starting five.

UNLV started the game off going basket for basket with the Dons, but finished the first half on a 25-6 run. Which gave the Rebels a 39-23 halftime lead.

One of the huge takeaways from the first half was how well Jonah Antonio shot the ball. Overreaction be damned UNLV has a knockdown shooter this season in Antonio. He was 4-of-5 from 3 in the half.

Purdue Fort Wayne did cut the lead down to nine in the second half but, UNLV pulled away again after a couple of easy buckets at the hoop. The outcome of this game was never in doubt. UNlV played well as a team for the entire game.

Some positives from the opener the Rebels can build on have to be how efficient the team was. The team shot 52 percent from the field 37 percent from 3 and 82 percent from the charity stripe. With one game in the books, the Otzelberger led Rebels look to have a bright season ahead of them. However, it is just one game against a low Division I opponent.

You can catch UNLV in action again this Saturday 11/9 at the Thomas&Mack arena against Kansas State.

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