LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The UNLV Running Rebels used a 19-0 first half to run away from the Sacred Heart Pioneers Friday night en route to a 82-50 victory at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sacred Heart falls to 2-10 on the season, while UNLV improves to 6-4.
Redshirt junior Evan Kelley (Norwalk, CT) scored a team-high 14 points, while Chris Evans (Stamford, CT) added ten points for the Pioneers. Sacred Heart shot a dismal 35.9 (23-of-64) percent from the field.
Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith led the way for UNLV, scoring 15 points apiece. Bryce Dejean Jones chipped in with 14. Defensively, UNLV had 12 blocks, including five from Christian Wood, and nine steals.
UNLV jumped all over Sacred Heart to open the first half, going on a 19-0 run to take a 19-3 lead after Phil Gaetano opened the game with a three-pointer. Senior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) halted the UNLV run with a jumper at 12:11. Mostafa Abdel Latif (Alexandria, Egypt) gave Sacred Heart solid minutes in the first half, leading SHU in scoring with a couple buckets. Latif first put in a nice turnaround jumper in the lane to cut the UNLV lead to 20-7 with 11:27 remaining in the half, and then put in a lay-up off a nice dish from Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) to score SHU's final points of the half. The Running Rebels took a 42-15 lead into halftime, scoring 18 points in the paint and pouring in 16 points off turnovers.
The second half was more of the same for the Running Rebels, ballooning their lead to a game-high 36 points with 15:03 remaining in the second half. The Pioneers kept fighting, with back-to-back lay-ups by Kelley and redshirt freshman Cole Walton (Bellevue, WA), the Pioneers cut the UNLV lead to 59-27 with 14:14 remaining. Junior Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) knocked down his only three of the game to make it 61-34 UNLV with 11:00 remaining. Freshman Eyimofe Edukugho (Warrior Delta State, Nigeria) finished off a nice left-handed lay-up following a beautiful spin move to make it 71-46 with 4:13 remaining.
UNLV outrebounded Sacred Heart 53-34, including 16-8 on the offensive boards.
Sacred Heart plays the Radford Highlanders Sunday afternoon at the Orleans Arena in game three of the Continental Tires Las Vegas Classic