LAS VEGAS -- UNLV showed how good it can be this season in the first half against Hawaii. The 24th-ranked Rebels then pulled away late after the Warriors made it close in the second half.
Anthony Bennett had 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks to lead UNLV past Hawaii 77-63 as the Rebels built a 22-point halftime lead thanks to good ball movement.UNLV (5-1) shot 59 percent from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes."It was a total team effort, building the lead, and sharing the ball (in the first half)," said Rebels coach Dave Rice, whose team had 12 first-half assists. "We lost our intensity a little bit in the second half. I and the coaching staff have to figure out a way at halftime. I told the guys, let's keep getting getting 22-point halftime leads."Savon Goodman added 13 points and seven rebounds for UNLV, which saw its lead trimmed to eight points with about 6 minutes remaining as the Rebels, who were 7 of 15 from 3-point range, were facing a zone again."We've got to do a better job against the zone," Rice said. "It becomes more difficult when teams play zones with space."Christian Standhardinger tied a career high with 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Hawaii (4-2). He was 9 of 24 from the field."Christian could drive (by) their bigs," Hawaii coach Gib Arnold said of his junior transfer from Munich, Germany. "(UNLV) had trouble adapting to his aggressiveness. He played really well in the second half. I thought he was the most aggressive player out there."But the Warriors were missing 3-pointers, going 1 of 18 -- including two that could have cut UNLV's lead to five."When you go 1 of 18, you aren't going to beat this team," Arnold said. "I thought UNLV hit us in the first half. We were on our heels and they were playing inspired basketball. We took it to them in the second half. We didn't rebound well and we didn't drive well (in the first half)."Vander Joaquim, who hit the Warriors' only 3-pointer, added 12 points and nine rebounds for Hawaii, which had been off for 10 days.Katin Reinhardt and Mike Moser each added 10 points for UNLV, which completed a six-game homestand. Reinhardt had seven assists, while Moser had three blocks, but injured his hip with 6:57 left after committing his fourth foul and did not return.The Rebels outscored the Warriors 21-4 in fast-break points and 34-12 in bench points.Besides two brief Hawaii leads early, the Rebels led throughout, jumping to advantages of 21-8 and their biggest at 49-23 with 48 seconds to go until halftime. They led 49-27 at intermission.In the first half, the Warriors were 0 of 10 from 3-point range and 36 percent from the field."We weren't ready to come out in the first half," said Standhardinger, who missed all four of his 3s. "They ran all over us. In the second half, we showed some heart and some intensity. I think from the penetration standpoint, I did a good job against Moser and Bennett. I need to improve my 3-point shot and mid-range shot."The Warriors opened the second half on a 13-4 run, and later cut the lead to 61-53 with under 6 minutes left. But Reinhardt and Justin Hawkins each made a 3-pointer on the next two trips and Hawaii got no closer."Our young guys are so composed," Hawkins said. "I don't think we were worried at all (in the second half). We got hung up. We can't do that in opponents' buildings."Hawaii converted 20 of 26 from the free throw line, while the Rebels were 10 of 15.UNLV leads the all-time series 23-9, including a 74-69 win in Hawaii last Dec. 31.This was the last UNLV game at the Thomas & Mack Center for 18 days and four contests due to the annual National Rodeo Finals. The next three of four games are outside Las Vegas, starting at Portland on Tuesday. Rice said the team's medical staff will determine whether Moser will play in that contest.