Adams listens to mom

FORT WORTH, Texas — All the motivation UNLV junior Wink Adams needed came from a familiar voice. It followed him up and down the floor, and it pushed him to succeed.

It was not Rebels coach Lon Kruger doing the yelling, either.

It was Ann Adams, the mother of the player doing most of the scoring Wednesday night.

"I heard her throughout the game, so I knew I had to hit some shots," Adams said, smiling. "Or she probably would’ve killed me."

Adams’ mom made the trip from their hometown of Houston, and her son made her proud by putting up a game-high 25 points to lift UNLV to a 70-58 victory over Texas Christian.

The Rebels (16-4) improved to 5-1 in the Mountain West Conference and remained in a first-place tie with Brigham Young.

Ann Adams probably was the loudest voice in the crowd of 3,577 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, and she had reason to be happy.

"Wink was in a good rhythm. He stepped in there and knocked down some shots, and he was aggressive off the dribble," Kruger said. "It’s good to see him come to his home state and have a good one."

Adams made four 3-pointers in the second half, when he had 18 points to help hold off every rally by the Horned Frogs (11-8, 3-3).

After a 7-0 run that pulled TCU to within 53-47, Adams hit a 3-pointer with 8:10 remaining.

"Every time we got within striking distance, Wink made a big shot," Horned Frogs coach Neil Dougherty said. "That’s what he’s done for them forever. He’s always made big, big shots.

"Each time we got a little close, he would make a shot to back us up again."

The last 3 Adams made gave UNLV its biggest lead of 66-49 with 4:46 left.

"The coaches told me to go get the ball and be aggressive," Adams said. "I was able to get it and make some plays, and whenever I can do that, it’s always good for the team.

"I just felt real comfortable. To have a lot of friends and family from home at the game, it always feels good."

Adams shot 8-for-17 from the field, including 5-for-10 from 3-point range, and hit all four of his free throws.

Junior forward Joe Darger finished with 12 points and seven rebounds for the Rebels, who shot 26-for-54 (48 percent) and had 22 assists.

Junior guard Rene Rougeau totaled nine points, five rebounds and five steals, senior forward Corey Bailey had eight points and senior guard Curtis Terry had seven assists.

"I guess a lot of people think we’re overachieving, seeing that we’re probably the smallest team in the league," Rougeau said. "We have to use that as motivation, if anything. We have to kind of walk with a chip on our shoulder.

"I knew from the beginning we were going to be a hard-working team. It all starts with the coaches because they have a lot of faith in us."

TCU was dealt adversity 1:11 into the game, when leading scorer Henry Salter suffered a sprained right ankle. He limped to the locker room and did not return.

"If he would have played, it would have been a totally different game," Adams said of Salter, who was averaging 14.9 points per game.

Brent Hackett led the Horned Frogs with 19 points and Kevin Langford had 17.

"They definitely needed (Salter) tonight," Rougeau said. "He’s probably the best shooter in the league."

UNLV went ahead 35-29 at the half. Two reserves made key contributions, as freshman Kendall Wallace made two 3-pointers and junior Mareceo Rutledge scored five points.

"Kendall making shots is good for his confidence," Kruger said. "Mo has continued to work, even though he’s not gotten a lot of minutes lately. I was really glad because we need him."

 

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