Senior guard Norman Powell led UCLA to a lopsided win in a closed scrimmage Saturday, teaching UNLV’s freshmen a lesson in the process.
The Bruins and Rebels played a total of 55 minutes at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, where media and fans were prohibited from attending because of NCAA rules, and UCLA came out ahead by a 30-point margin, according to a source.
UNLV coach Dave Rice did not reveal the score or statistics from the scrimmage — citing NCAA rules restrictions — but he did confirm his team was blown out in the first 20-minute period.
“We got a wake-up call in the first one,” Rice said. “We got it put on us pretty good. It was a great learning experience for our new guys.”
The teams played two 20-minute periods, followed by a 15-minute period, and the Rebels won the third period. Rice said his newcomers were essentially shell-shocked by the hot-shooting Bruins in the first period.
Ten players recorded minutes for UNLV, including true freshmen Rashad Vaughn, Dwayne Morgan, Goodluck Okonoboh, Jordan Cornish and Patrick McCaw, and redshirt freshman guard Dantley Walker. Morgan was the Rebels’ top player, according to the source, by totaling 22 points.
Rice, not permitted to discuss specific players, said his freshmen rebounded from UCLA’s initial onslaught. A final score of 101-60 that was reported on social media outlets was inaccurate.
“After the first period, we played with a much greater understanding and sense of urgency,” Rice said. “It made our new guys understand how tough this level is, and we got progressively better as the day went on. I feel good about our improvement. I was pleased with the fact we took that adversity and responded to it in the second two periods.“
The Bruins, according to the source, hit all eight of their 3-point attempts in the first period. UCLA, which was led by Powell and sophomore guard Bryce Alford, had a slight edge in the final 35 minutes.
The Rebels, who routed Florida National 100-65 in an exhibition Wednesday, open the regular season against Morehead State on Friday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“We very much needed this, and that’s why we did it,” Rice said. “It certainly gives us great focus going into practice Monday, and we have a lot of things to watch on film.”
Contact reporter Matt Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247.