UNLV led early, but struggled offensively in the first half and face a 39-33 deficit to San Diego State at the Thomas & Mack Center at halftime.
The Rebels shot just 36.4 percent from the field in the half and were out-rebounded 23-17.
Tyrone Shelley has 10 points and four rebounds to lead the Aztecs and Kawhi Leonard has eight points and four rebounds.
Chace Stanback hit a pair of free throws, then got a steal and hit a jumper with just over a minute to play in the half to stop a 6-0 San Diego State run and keep the game close.
Stanback had eight points in the half and Tre’Von Willis added six.
San Diego State got to the free-throw line 17 times, but made just nine to keep the Rebels in the game for now. Matt Shaw has three fouls, however, and Oscar Bellfield, Derrick Jasper and Darris Santee each have two.
Take it Easy
Kendall Wallace drained seven 7-pointers in a huge road win in Albuquerque on Saturday, but he can’t make every one he puts up.
Each time Wallace has touched the ball tonight, the entire crowd has yelled in unison for him to soot.
He went 1-for-4 from beyond the arc in the first half, and on each miss, the crowd gasped in disappointment as if stunned he actually missed.
Relax. It’s a difficult shot to make. They can’t all go in, even for Kendall.
With the Aztecs on a run in the first half, Tyrone Shelley double-pumped a 3-point attempt.
Players rarely make the shot after thinking twice about it from that range.
But the maneuver did enough to throw off Derrick Jasper’s defensive timing and the Rebel guard fouled Shelley to give him three free throws.
He made all three to give San Diego State a 7-point lead.
Moments later, Oscar Bellfield was knocked down shooting a long jumper and no whistle was blown.
It was a bad stretch for the Rebels–and the officials.
Matt Shaw made the problem worse three minutes later. He ran over Tim Shelton when he was shooting a 3-pointer to give the Aztecs three more free throws. Fortunately for UNLV, he made just one.
Go to the hoop, young man
Anthony Marshall has had a more significant impact than expected in his freshman season.
His athleticism has been apparent each time he takes the floor and the season highlight reel is likely to be littered with plays by the local product.
But he needs to go the basket more. He takes far too many jumpers and his outside game is not very refined yet.
Good things happen when he drives to the hoop, including a spectacular dunk on a drive when he drove by one defender and dunked over the other in the first half on Wednesday night.
On the next possession, he airballed a jump shot.
He made just 1 of 6 shots from the field in the half.
Kendall Wallace celebrated his 21-point performance at New Mexico by celebrating his birthday on Monday, but he wasn’t alone.
Oscar Bellfield and Tre’Von Willis were also born on Jan. 11.
In fact, Wallace and Willis are the same age. They each turned 22, while Bellfield just turned 20.