Utes blow big halftime lead, lose to Rebels


Final - 1.24.2009 1 2 Total
Utah Utes 38 27 65
UNLV Runnin Rebels 30 45 75

Complete Coverage >


Utah entered Saturday's contest a half game out of the top spot and a victory away from possibly taking control of the conference race. In their way, however, were the UNLV Rebels, fresh off their big victory over BYU down in Provo. 

In an arena Utah has struggled in recently, the Utes jumped out to an early first half lead. In fact, they controlled most of the game in the first half, even opening up a double digit lead behind hot outside shooting and strong play in the middle. However, that play failed to carry over to the second half, as the Utes were outscored 45-27. Their eight point halftime lead turned into an aggravating 75-65 defeat. 

Much of the Rebels' run in the second half was due to Utah's poor shooting and eight turnovers. UNLV, who had struggled earlier in the game to find a shot, eventually found one. Leading the way for the winning Rebels was Tre'Von Willis, who had a career high 22 points. For the Utes, Luke Nevill's 14 was a team high. 

This loss was expected, at least for me, since UNLV is tough to beat on their home court. It does nothing to dramatically shift the conference race, like if Utah had won, and the Utes did show improvement. Unfortunately, the second half felt much like the inconsistent Runnin' Utes we've seen over the past four years. But the team won't have much time to really sulk over their play, as BYU comes to the Huntsman Center Tuesday. That game might just be the biggest of the season and could dictate Utah's path the rest of the way. 

But for now, at least they have the first half of this one.

UTAH UTES
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Morgan Grim, F 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
Luke Nevill, C 31 6-12 0-0 2-3 1 7 1 0 4 4 1 14
Luka Drca, G 30 4-4 3-3 0-0 1 7 5 1 0 4 3 11
Lawrence Borha, G 33 4-9 3-5 0-0 1 5 1 0 0 1 3 11
Carlon Brown, G 31 3-10 0-0 2-2 1 3 6 0 0 4 2 8
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Kim Tillie, F 6 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
Shaun Green, F 32 4-7 2-4 1-3 0 5 3 3 0 2 3 11
Tyler Kepkay, G 31 3-10 2-4 0-0 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 8
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
25-53 10-16 5-8 5 30 16 4 5 18 16 65
47.2% 62.5% 62.5%
 
UNLV REBELS
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Rene Rougeau, G 28 7-10 0-0 0-1 0 5 1 1 2 1 0 14
Joe Darger, F 29 1-3 0-2 2-2 0 6 0 1 2 0 3 4
Darris Santee, F 17 0-4 0-0 1-4 0 2 1 2 0 0 1 1
Wink Adams, G 34 6-11 0-0 2-4 1 2 4 1 0 3 3 14
Tre'Von Willis, G 34 8-16 2-2 4-5 2 2 6 3 0 1 2 22
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Oscar Bellfield, G 20 2-6 0-1 2-2 0 1 1 2 0 3 1 6
Kendall Wallace, G 13 1-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Mareceo Rutledge, G 15 3-3 2-2 1-1 2 7 2 2 0 0 0 9
Brice Massamba, F-C 10 0-2 0-0 2-2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 2
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
28-57 5-9 14-21 6 27 15 12 4 9 11 75
49.1% 55.6% 66.7%

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