LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – Five Runnin’ Rebels scored in double figures led by Mbacke Diong’s career-high 22 points along with 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season as the UNLV men’s basketball team defeated Benedictine Mesa 99-45 Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. It was the Runnin’ Rebels’ fourth straight win.
David Jenkins Jr. scored 20 points and made 4 of 5 3-pointers, while Nick Blake, in his first career start, scored 15 points with a career-high seven assists and no turnovers. Devin Tillis and Moses Wood each added 11 points for UNLV (5-6).
Benectine Mesa was led by Maurice Walton’s 16 points and Dalton Smith’s 13 rebounds.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV turned the ball over just twice, while it converted 12 Redhawk turnovers into 20 points.
BIG RUNS: UNLV began the game with a 14-0 spurt before leading 23-2. Then with a halftime lead of 50-25, the Runnin’ Rebels started the second half scoring 23 unanswered points en route to a 37-2 run.
QUOTABLE: “I was happy to see how our guys approached this opportunity. I thought our defense to start each half was really sound and we had great focus. It was an opportunity to get a lot of guys playing time that we didn’t have early in the year, especially for those freshmen and get some more experience as we continue to move forward in league play. Overall, I was happy with the effort and really pleased to be able to get those freshmen, especially, a lot of game minutes.” – UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger
– The game counted for UNLV but was an exhibition for the NAIA-member Redhawks.- Bryce Hamilton sat out with a sprained ankle.- UNLV outrebounded Benedictine Mesa 56-41.- UNLV outscored the Redhawks in points in the paint, 50-12.- No fans were permitted to attend the game.- UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,113 straight games.
NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will continue its six-game homestand by resuming Mountain West play with a two-game series at the Thomas & Mack Center vs. Utah State on Monday, January 25 and Wednesday, January 27. Monday’s game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network, while the radio call will be available on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.