Rebels continue to win ugly

So many of his shots were off, UNLV guard Wink Adams thought there was an error in the box score.

"I’m surprised I had 18 points," the senior said.

Adams missed all seven of his 3-point attempts and had five consecutive misses from the free-throw line. But he made enough positive plays Sunday to help the Rebels defeat Western Michigan 70-61 before a crowd of 6,701 at the Orleans Arena.

Adams shot 5-for-16 from the field and 8-for-14 on free throws en route to 18 points, and senior Rene Rougeau had 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

In winning its third straight game, UNLV (8-2) registered few style points.

After another ugly performance by his team, coach Lon Kruger expressed dissatisfaction and said a troubling trend must end.

"We’ve played like that too frequently. We’ve got to do things better," Kruger said.

The Rebels shot 3-for-19 from 3-point range, lost the rebounding battle 37-32 and turned in an uninspired effort against a Broncos team that dropped to 2-8.

"We’re not playing with a lot of passion," said Rougeau, who has to make no apologies for his own play.

Five minutes into the second half, Joe Darger’s 3-pointer put UNLV ahead 44-31. On the verge of being blown out, Western Michigan charged back with a 13-3 run.

Martelle McLemore drove the lane and dropped a jumper to pull the Broncos within 59-54 with 5:24 remaining.

Adams made two free throws, Rougeau scored inside and Adams hit a fadeaway baseline jumper to extend the Rebels’ lead to 65-54 lead with 3:10 to go.

"We’ve still got some things to work on. At times in the game, we kind of get a little sloppy," Adams said. "We’ve got to learn to take a 10-point lead to a 20-point lead, instead of dropping it back down to a five-point lead."

Kruger said UNLV’s poor perimeter shooting is infecting other areas of its play. Adams is 1-for-26 on 3s in the past six games, and he was faced with several questions about it.

"I wish I had an answer," Adams said. "The basket must have a lid on it or something. This is a serious slump. Hopefully I get out of it real soon."

Kruger said he remains confident Adams will emerge from his funk, and the rest of the team will follow.

"Wink has struggled for short periods, perhaps, but not for any length of time like he is now," Kruger said. "He’s shooting the ball well in practice."

The Rebels capitalized on a wide disparity in fouls (28 to 14) and shot 34 free throws to Western Michigan’s 16.

Derek Drews made five 3-pointers and led the Broncos with 19 points.

UNLV’s scoring was balanced as Darger and freshman center Brice Massamba scored eight points apiece, and Oscar Bellfield, Darris Santee and Tre’Von Willis each had seven.

Rougeau said it’s the job of the seniors to pick up the Rebels, who host Santa Clara on Wednesday and Arizona on Saturday.

"As seniors, we’ve got to show we’re passionate about this game. Once the younger guys see us doing it, that’s when things will fall into place," Rougeau said.

"It’s still early in the season. It’s only a matter of time before we really get things going. I wish we would get it started already."

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907.

UNLV 70

Western Michigan 61

W. Michigan Min FG-A FT-A R A PF TP

McLemore 18 1-4 0-0 4 2 2 2

Whitfield 11 1-1 2-2 4 0 4 4

Lawson 15 0-0 1-2 4 0 5 1

Kool 31 3-14 3-4 3 3 1 10

Gary 26 4-8 1-2 6 2 3 9

Ward 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Drews 29 7-12 0-0 3 2 1 19

Ricks 9 3-4 0-0 0 0 2 7

Lowe 13 0-1 1-2 4 0 4 1

Redell 37 3-4 1-3 2 2 4 8

Conteh 9 0-1 0-1 1 0 2 0

TOTALS 200 22-50 9-16 37 11 28 61

Field goals–44.0%. Free throws–56.3%.

Three-point goals–8-22 (Drews 5-10, Ricks 1-2, Redell 1-2, Kool 1-6, McLemore 0-1, Gary 0-1). Team rebounds–6. Blocked shots–1 (Lawson). Turnovers–18 (Whitfield 3, Redell 3, Kool 2, Gary 2, Lawson 2, McLemore 2, Ward, Drews, Lowe). Steals–4 (Kool 2, Lowe, Redell).

UNLV Min FG-A FT-A R A PF TP

Santee 14 3-7 1-2 3 0 2 7

Darger 30 2-7 2-2 6 2 2 8

Bellfield 29 3-6 0-0 1 2 1 7

Adams 34 5-16 8-14 4 3 0 18

Rougeau 35 5-7 1-3 7 1 2 11

Wallace 9 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0

Rutledge 10 2-3 0-1 3 0 2 4

Massamba 16 2-2 4-7 1 0 2 8

Mitchell 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Willis 21 1-4 5-5 4 1 1 7

TOTALS 200 23-53 21-34 32 11 14 70

Field goals–43.4%. Free throws–61.8%.

Three-point goals–3-19 (Darger 2-6, Bellfield 1-2, Wallace 0-1, Rutledge 0-1, Willis 0-2, Adams 0-7). Team rebounds–3. Blocked shots–5 (Rougeau 3, Santee, Bellfield). Turnovers–10 (Massamba 2, Bellfield 2, Rougeau 2, Santee, Darger, Adams, Willis). Steals–8 (Adams 2, Willis 2, Rutledge, Wallace, Darger, Rougeau).

A–6,701. Officials–Bill Gracey, Larry Spaulding, Duane Allen. Technical fouls–None.

Western Michigan 27 34 — 61

UNLV 34 36 — 70

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