Wink sinks slump as Rebels roll

Way off on his first four shots, UNLV senior Wink Adams began to wonder if Saturday was going to be similar to so many other of his bad shooting days.

“I was thinking, ‘Here we go again. It’s going to be a long game,’ ” Adams said.

And just like that, his season-long shooting slump was long gone.

Adams hit one of the hottest shooting streaks of his career, sinking seven consecutive 3-pointers and finishing with a season-high 25 points as the Rebels routed Arizona 79-64 before a crowd of 16,667 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“It came at a perfect time,” he said. “I’m so glad the shots fell.”

UNLV won its fifth consecutive game to improve to 10-2, and its performance was close to flawless in all areas.

Sophomore guard Tre’Von Willis totaled 19 points, six rebounds and four assists, and senior Rene Rougeau had 12 points, nine rebounds, six blocked shots and four steals.

“Everyone just really played their heart out,” Rougeau said.

The Rebels shot 14-for-31 on 3-pointers, and Adams led the way by making 7 of 12.

“Wink’s been looking for that type of breakout for 12 games,” UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. “All of the sudden in the second half, the bucket looked about four feet across instead of as small as it has been looking to him.

“We’re a different club, obviously, when Wink steps up and adds that dimension.”

The Wildcats (7-3) never saw it coming. Adams shot 1-for-26 on 3s during a recent six-game stretch, and the rest of the Rebels’ offensive woes were no secret.

“We had our scouting reports on certain players, and they weren’t shooting like that,” said Arizona forward Chase Budinger, who scored 22 points.

“Our pressure and our zone kind of allows that. We try to pressure them, and that kind of spreads us out, and that allowed them to get open jumpers from the corners. They were just knocking them down, and we couldn’t do anything about it.”

Adams was the igniter as UNLV blew open the game with a 15-0 run early in the second half and extended its lead to 55-36.

Adams made a 3 just before the halftime buzzer to lift the Rebels to a 32-27 lead. Adams made his first three 3-point shots of the second half, and freshman center Brice Massamba scored inside to make the score 45-36 with 16 minutes remaining.

Rougeau added a layup, Adams made a 3, Willis converted a three-point play and Darris Santee hit two free throws to complete the run.

Willis made consecutive 3-pointers to put UNLV up 67-48 with 7:11 left. Rougeau’s rebound basket gave the Rebels their largest lead, 73-50, with 5:22 remaining.

“Wink was just on fire. He couldn’t miss anything. He loves playing in this type of atmosphere,” Rougeau said. “Tre’Von was tremendous. I’m just speechless about how many shots he was hitting.”

Willis, who came off the bench, scored 16 in the second half.

“I love big games. I feel I step up in big games,” Willis said. “The effort out there was crazy. We were flying around all over the place.”

UNLV’s defensive pressure finally pleased Kruger, who has been awaiting such a performance. The Rebels forced 19 turnovers, and Santee, Massamba and Joe Darger blanketed Arizona’s 6-foot-10-inch Jordan Hill, who was contained despite his 18 points and 13 rebounds.

“When they did throw it to Hill, we were pretty quickly there,” Kruger said. “I thought we did a really good job. In spite of that, Hill still got a lot of points.”

The Wildcats used full-court pressure defense and zone. But the Rebels, who had 21 assists to eight turnovers, reacted with rapid ball movement around the perimeter and attacked the zone effectively.

UNLV freshman point guard Oscar Bellfield did not score, but had seven assists and no turnovers.

Darger (eight points) and Kendall Wallace (six) each hit two 3-pointers in the first half to help the Rebels build a lead.

Adams began to heat up late in the first half and could not be stopped.

“Once I got that first one to fall, I kind of got into a zone,” Adams said. “I really can’t explain it. I got into a rhythm. My shot couldn’t have come at a better time.”

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

UNLV 79

Arizona 64

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

Budinger 32 8-15 5-6 5 1 3 22

Horne 34 3-10 1-2 9 2 2 7

Hill 38 5-11 6-6 13 3 3 16

Wise 37 4-12 0-0 5 4 2 8

Fogg 28 2-7 3-4 2 1 1 7

Onobun 4 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Johnson 10 1-1 2-2 1 1 2 4

Judkins 9 0-1 0-0 0 0 2 0

Lavender 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Jacobson 5 0-1 0-0 3 0 0 0

TOTALS 200 23-58 17-20 42 12 15 64

Field goals–39.7%. Free throws–85.0%.

Three-point goals–1-4, (Budinger 1-3, Wise 0-1) Team rebounds–3. Blocked shots–4 (Budinger 2, Horne, Hill). Turnovers–19 (Wise 6, Hill 5, Budinger 4, Fogg, Jacobson, Judkins, Horne). Steals–3 (Wise, Johnson, Budinger).

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

Santee 12 0-0 2-2 2 1 3 2

Darger 32 3-9 0-1 2 3 2 8

Bellfield 26 0-6 0-0 2 7 2 0

Adams 33 8-17 2-2 5 3 0 25

Rougeau 32 6-12 0-0 9 2 2 12

Wallace 18 2-7 0-0 1 1 3 6

Rutledge 8 1-1 1-2 0 0 0 3

Hoffman 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Massamba 9 1-1 2-2 2 0 3 4

Mitchell 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Willis 28 6-10 4-5 6 4 2 19

TOTALS 200 27-63 11-14 32 21 17 79

Field goals–42.9%. Free throws–78.6%.

Three-point goals–14-31, (Adams 7-12, Willis 3-4, Wallace 2-4, Darger 2-7, Bellfield 0-4). Team rebounds–3. Blocked shots–8 (Rougeau 6, Massamba 2). Turnovers–8 (Willis 3, Darger, Wallace, Rutledge, Adams). Steals–10 (Rougeau 4, Bellfield 3, Adams 2, Darger).

A–16,667. Officials–David Hall, Randy McCall, Rick Batsell. Technical fouls–None.

Arizona 27 37 — 64

UNLV 32 47 — 79

TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like