Lacking ‘sense of urgency,’ No. 18 Rebels lose closed scrimmage at UCLA

In a flashback to February and March, UNLV coach Dave Rice took his basketball team on the road and experienced more woes.

The Rebels, ranked 18th in The Associated Press preseason poll, lost a closed scrimmage to 13th-ranked UCLA on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

No official statistics were recorded, and the scoreboard was not operating. Rice said UNLV trailed by two points at halftime and lost by “low double figures” in the 40-minute scrimmage.

NCAA rules prohibited fans and media from attending. The Rebels also failed to show up, at least to the level of intensity Rice desired.

“We didn’t play very well, quite frankly,” Rice said. “Individually there were some good things that went on. But I was disappointed. We just didn’t play with the sense of urgency we need when we go on the road. It was a good experience from that standpoint.

“It was a very physical scrimmage, and the physicality of the game bothered us. I was disappointed with our defensive rebounding. It’s an area of concern for me.”

UNLV started a three-guard lineup with seniors Anthony Marshall and Justin Hawkins and freshman Katin Reinhardt. Junior Mike Moser and freshman Anthony Bennett started at the forward spots.

Freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad did not play for the Bruins. The former Bishop Gorman High School star is sidelined during an NCAA investigation to determine his eligibility.

The Rebels were playing without two projected starters, sophomore shooting guard Bryce Dejean-Jones (left hand) and junior forward Carlos Lopez-Sosa (left shoulder).

“The bottom line is we’ve got a long way to go,” Rice said, “but I’m encouraged we can be good.”

UNLV hosts Dixie State in an exhibition at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at or 702-387-2907. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyoumans247.

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