Amauri Hardy led all scorers with 21 points as UNLV men’s basketball defeated Air Force 71-59 Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – Junior guard Amauri Hardy and sophomore guard Bryce Hamilton combined for 36 points on 12 of 19 from the field as the UNLV men’s basketball team won its fourth straight game and improved to 3-0 in Mountain West play with a 71-59 win over Air Force at the Thomas & Mack Center Saturday night.
It marks just the second time that UNLV (8-8, 3-0) has started a MW season 3-0.
Hardy led all scorers with 21 points on 6 of 11 from the field, while Hamilton added 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting. Junior forward Mbacke Diong scored 12 points and sophomore guard Marvin Coleman tied his career high with 10 rebounds, setting a new career mark with six assists (only one turnover in a game-high 36 minutes).
Air Force (7-8, 1-2) had three players score in double figures, led by Lavelle Scottie’s 19 points.
THE TURNING POINT: UNLV trailed by 11 points seven minutes into the game, but a 17-0 Runnin’ Rebel run put them up by seven (27-20) with 5 minutes left until halftime. The Runnin’ Rebels led by seven at the half (34-27) and increased their lead to as many as 20 points with seven minutes to go.
DEFENSIVE EFFORT: UNLV limited Air Force to its second-lowest point total of the season and held the Falcons to just 34.6 percent shooting (18 of 52) – their lowest of the season. After Air Force made each of its first five 3-point attempts, the Falcons shot 5 of 22 from long distance the rest of the game.
– UNLV tied its season low for turnovers with 10.
– UNLV recorded 10 steals, while Air Force had 3.
– UNLV scored 22 points off 17 Air Force turnovers, while Air Force scored three points off UNLV’s 10.
– UNLV led in points in the paint 32-16 and in bench scoring 20-5.
– UNLV has won each of its games during its four-game win streak by double digits.
– UNLV was without senior guard Elijah Mitrou-Long for the seventh straight game because of a broken thumb.
– UNLV junior forward Donnie Tillman did not play because he was late to shootaround.
– UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,086 straight games.
NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will be on the road for its next two games, at Boise State on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and at Wyoming on Saturday, Jan. 11.