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Runnin’ Rebels Fly Past Air Force In Mountain West Tournament’s First Round

RUNNIN’ REBELS FLY PAST AIR FORCE, 80-52, IN MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT’S FIRST ROUND


David Jenkins Jr. led all scorers with 21 points as UNLV shot 52.9% from 3-point range Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center

The UNLV men’s basketball team defeated Air Force 80-52 in the first round of the 2021 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas & Mack Center.

 

UNLV (12-14) had three players score in double figures, led by David Jenkins Jr.’s game-high 21 points. Bryce Hamilton added 18 and Mbacke Diong contributed 16.

 

Air Force (5-20) was led by AJ Walker’s 16 points and five assists.

 

STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV held Air Force to just 11% on 3-pointers (2 of 18), while the Runnin’ Rebels made 52.9% of their 3-point tries (9 of 17).

 

TURNING POINT: UNLV used a 23-2 run in the first half to take a 35-16 lead with 2:30 to go until halftime.

 

QUOTABLE: “We have talked quite a bit recently about our team’s inability, or whatever you want to call it, to guard the 3-point line and pressure the basketball. Today was as fine of an effort as we’ve had in those categories all season long. Not only did we do it for the first half, we came out and had that same focus defensively in the second half. I know with our guys, when we are at our best, we are getting stops, getting out and running and we are fortunate to have had that be the case today.” – UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger

 

NOTES: 

– The 28-point victory is the fourth-largest margin in MW Tournament history.

– UNLV held the Falcons to just 34.5 percent shooting in the first half (10 of 29), including 0 of 9 on 3-pointers.

– UNLV shot 63% in the first half (17 of 27), finishing the game at 57.4% (31 of 54).

– UNLV improved to 8-2 on the season when shooting 50% or better from the field.

– UNLV is now 9-0 in games when it holds its opponent to 60 points or less.

– Jenkins Jr. was 6 of 9 on 3-pointers and scored 20 or more points for the seventh time this season. His six made 3s in a MW Tournament game tied for sixth-best all-time and tied the record for the most 3s made in the opening round.

– UNLV out-rebounded Air Force by 21, 38-17.

– The Runnin’ Rebels dished out 20 assists.

– UNLV led in second-chance points 14-1 and in fast-break points 10-2.

– Diong was 7 of 10 from the field with a game-high eight rebounds.

– Hamilton was 8 of 13 from the field, 2 of 2 on 3-pointers and collected seven rebounds while dishing out four assists.

– UNLV now leads the all-time series with Air Force 43-14 and is 31-2 when playing the Falcons at home.

– UNLV has won five straight overall vs. Air Force and eight of the last nine.

– UNLV improved to 5-0 all-time against Air Force in the MW Tournament and has won 11 straight against the Falcons at home.

– UNLV is now 28-17 all-time in MW Tournament play. The 28 wins are the second-most victories for any program in tournament history.

– UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,128 straight games.

 

NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will face No. 2 seed Utah State in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 11 at 6 p.m. The game will mark the Runnin’ Rebels’ first meeting against the Aggies in MW Tournament history and will be televised by CBS Sports Network. The radio broadcast may be heard on ESPN 1100 Las Vegas. All links are available at UNLVRebels.com.

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Runnin' Rebels Fly Past Air Force In Mountain West Tournament's First Round