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Rebels fall in Aussie opener

Senior forward Joe Darger turned in a strong effort — 15 points and 12 rebounds — but UNLV’s basketball team lost the opener of its six-game exhibition tour of Australia, falling 72-64 to the Sutherland Sharks on Thursday in Sutherland, Australia.

Darger was one of three UNLV players who scored in double figures. Senior guards Wink Adams and Mareceo Rutledge each scored 13 points.

Freshman center Beas Hamga, who redshirted last season, had six points and 10 rebounds in his first game for UNLV.

Russell Hinder finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Sharks, who led 33-25 at halftime.

Sutherland took its biggest lead, 36-25, with 9:20 left in the third quarter. The Rebels responded with a 22-6 run to take a 47-42 lead with less than two minutes to play in the third. During the run, Rutledge and Scott Hoffman each made a 3-pointer.

The Sharks led 65-62 with less than two minutes to play when an apparent blocked shot by Hamga was called goaltending. The Sharks closed the game by making five free throws.

Kendall Wallace scored six points and Hoffman five for UNLV, and senior Rene Rougeau and redshirt sophomore guard Tre’Von Willis each scored three points for the Rebels.

"It was a great experience for our guys," Rebels coach Lon Kruger said, "especially for Beas and Tre’Von coming off redshirt years.

"I thought Beas looked extremely confident out there and rebounded very well, and Tre’Von had his first game where he was going a little bit more quickly than he needs to, and he will learn from that."

The Rebels were to play at 2:30 a.m. PDT today against the Illawara Seahawks in Gwynneville.

Video courtesy of Mike Clauretie

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