LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – Led by freshman forward Brandon McCoy’s double-double of 26 points and 17 rebounds, the UNLV men’s basketball team (5-0) continued its hot start with an 85-58 blowout win over Utah (4-1) Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
McCoy earned MVP of the MGM Resorts Main Event tournament as the Runnin’ Rebels won the championship.
Senior guard Jordan Johnson added 20 points with six assists and senior guard Jovan Mooring was the other UNLV player to finish with double figures in scoring (19 points).
Utah was led by Donnie Tillman’s 14 points.
BEST START TO A SEASON SINCE: At 5-0, UNLV is off to its best start in six years as it was also 5-0 after five games during the 2011-12 season.
TURNING POINT: After leading by 10 points at the half (43-33), UNLV opened the second half with an 18-4 run to take a 61-37 lead with 14 minutes to go. UNLV led by as many as 29 in the contest.
STAT OF THE GAME: After starting the game 0 for 6 from the field, Mooring made 6 of 8 shots the rest of the way. He also made a game-high three 3-pointers.
RUNNIN’ REBEL OF THE GAME: McCoy continued his red-hot start to the season by recording his fourth double-double in five outings. He was 9 of 14 from the field and made all eight of his free-throw attempts.
QUOTABLE: “Obviously a very good win. We executed well on both sides of the ball and I was happy the guys were able to put together two halves of the style of defense that we want to play. I thought they did an excellent job pressuring the ball and getting in the passing lanes and making it tough for guys to run their offense. That was a very good team we beat.
“We need the fans to come out. That’s what the big boys have, they have phenomenal home court advantages. You go and play in places like that with sold out houses, there are waiting lists to get season tickets at some places. Those environments, there is nothing like that. Those places recruit themselves and we have to get back that feeling. This is a group to maybe be the foundation to do that and be the first team to launch back towards that direction. I’m imploring the fans to come out every time I get a chance because I do think the city has a special product in these young men and I am hopeful and optimistic they will come out and see it.”
– UNLV Head Coach Marvin Menzies
– UNLV has now made at least one 3-pointer in 1,011 straight games.
– UNLV held Utah to just 25 second-half points.
– UNLV has won its five games this season by an average of 29.2 points per game.
– UNLV held Utah to just 10 percent 3-point shooting (2 of 20).
– UNLV shot at least 50 percent from the field for the fourth time this season.
NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will return to the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, Nov. 25, to host Southern Utah at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at UNLVtickets.com, by calling 702-739-FANS (3267) or by visiting the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office.