Runnin’ Rebels start 2-0 with 55-52 win over Cal

UNLV Sports

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 10: Head coach Kevin Kruger of the UNLV Rebels speaks during a news conference after his team defeated the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs 64-58 in his first game as head coach at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Bryce Hamilton scored 12 points and Mike Nuga added 10 and UNLV held off California for a 55-52 victory on Saturday night.

Cal (0-2) was scoreless in the final two minutes but had its chances in the closing seconds. UNLV’s Royce Hamm Jr. blocked Jordan Shepherd’s layup attempt with 27 seconds remaining. Shepherd missed a 3-pointer four seconds later and another 3-point shot with three seconds to play.

Hamilton was 5 of 14 from the floor and Nuga was 4-of-10 shooting, and they each made two 3-pointers.

Grant Anticevich scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Cal. Shepherd finished with nine points.

Hamilton’s jumper gave UNLV (2-0) a 53-48 lead with 2:56 to play. Jalen Celestine made a pair of free throws and Andre Kelly’s layup pulled Cal to 53-52 with 2:00 left.

Cal used an 11-0 run for a 44-38 lead with 9:20 remaining. But Jordan McCabe and Hamilton each hit 3-pointers between a Donovan Williams layup for a 49-46 advantage, and the Rebels led the rest of the way.

The Golden Bears outrebounded the Rebels 35-30 and but shot 37% (21 of 57) from the floor and 4 of 14 from long range. The Rebels weren’t much better shooting overall at 38% (21 of 56), but they made 10 of their 29 3-point shots.

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