UNLV vs Minnesota

FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs High Point – Game 4

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (4-0 / 0-0)  | High Point Panthers (3-1 / 0-0)

Franchise Sports Media

 

The Rebels keep on Runnin’ as they defeat High Point 78-68 for their fourth consecutive win to start the season.

 

UNLV vs High Point
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Jordan McCabe did not participate during practice earlier in the week due to an illness and did not play against High Point.

The starting lineup for UNLV was the same as the first three games: Keshon Gilbert, E.J. Harkless, Eli Parquet, Luis Rodriguez, and David Muoka. This combination has played around 28 minutes together so far this season and has outscored opponents 65-34.

On High Point’s first possession, UNLV got the stop. Harkless got started early by avoiding the defender and converting a tough layup. After another stop, Rodriguez scored inside. High Point’s Abdoulaye Thiam answered with a layup of his own.

UNLV then forced the shot clock violation, and Gilbert found Muoka inside for the score. Jaden House came right back down, and he converted a tough layup over Muoka. UNLV forced another shot clock violation, and this was the second time they caught House lacking and were able to get the double team on him.

Harkless snagged the rebound and threw it over to Rodriguez on the break, who dunked it home. Thiam came down, and he must’ve seen a ghost because he sailed the ball out of bounds with none of his teammates in the area.

Coming out of a timeout, UNLV led 8-4. Rodriguez fought for the rebound and scored inside as he muscled the ball away from the defender to push the lead to six. But then both teams went on a mini-drought as the last made field goal was at the 14:16 mark. After nearly 3 minutes of no buckets by either side, House fixed that by scoring a layup over Muoka at the 11:48 mark. Muoka responded by doing his signature putback dunk off a Jackie Johnson III missed layup.

Gilbert missed another three, with UNLV 0-6 at this point. However, Gilbert was bailed out with a foul and converted all three free throws. It was still a good defensive start for UNLV, as they held High Point to 3 of 13 overall while forcing six turnovers. Rodriguez had it going early, as he already had six points and five boards. UNLV 12, High Point 7, with 11:12 left in the first half.

Zach Austin had a big night, but he started it off by scoring a contested hook shot over Muoka and Harkless. Johnson III tried to counter but was called for traveling. Emmanuel Izunabor scored the jumper over Muoka. Then Thiam hit the first three of the game by either team. Rodriguez wasn’t having that and battled his way into the paint for two.

Austin drilled a three in Harkless’ face, but Harkless couldn’t answer back as he missed a three to drop to 0-3 from three at this point.

Parquet wanted some action as he stopped on a dime at the line and sunk an awkward jumper for two. Parquet then got the steal and went down on the break to score the layup.

Austin then made back-to-back threes, one with a hand in his face and one wide open in the corner. Gilbert turned the ball over, and it led to another three for High Point, this time by Thiam. UNLV was now behind 26-22, as a 9-0 run for High Point secured them the lead.

Parquet threw down the dunk to stop the bleeding. UNLV almost gave up another wide-open three, but they got the charging call. UNLV prevented a score inside by drawing another charge. They weren’t afraid to put their bodies on the line in this one.

UNLV battled for the offensive rebound, and Muoka was able to get it. He kicked it out to Gilbert for the first three of the game to extend the three-point streak to 1,165 games. UNLV had been 0 of 8 from deep before that shot. High Point answered with back-to-back threes, and UNLV found themselves still down by five.

After the timeout, Harkless dished to Muoka inside, and he scored. UNLV fought for the rebound, and Harkless on the other end, fought inside to get the two. Harkless then drove inside and lobbed it up to Muoka, who threw it down to cut the lead to one point.

 

But at halftime, the score read High Point 36, UNLV 33. With some off-target shooting in the first half for UNLV, the home team went 1-of-12 from 3-point range. High Point was 7-of-13 from three and that was the difference in the first half. UNLV’s offense was also shooting 35% from the field.

 

UNLV vs High Point
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

To start the second half, Gilbert lobbed it up to Muoka, who threw it down. UNLV picked up another charge call as Harkless’ high IQ play paid off. On the other end, Harkless avoided the charge attempt and found Parquet inside for the score.

But UNLV gave up another three as they had mental lapses in this one, leaving guys wide open. It ailed them all night as Austin drilled another three. Gilbert answered with a three of his own off of a dime from Harkless.

UNLV forced the turnover, and Justin Webster went nearly full-court to score the layup and drew the foul on the way up. He converted the free throw in addition. Harkless then drilled the three to secure a four-point lead.

Johnson III converted a deep three, but Brock Williams came down immediately and caught UNLV off guard, drawing the foul and converting the and-1. Williams did it again with another and-1 layup as Muoka was caught mid-air, cutting the lead to just one point.

Johnson III kept pouring it on, however, as he hit another three, this time from the corner, truly providing a well-needed spark for the Runnin’ Rebels. Harkless drew the defense and found Muoka underneath for the jam, his seventh assist of the night.

Harkless wouldn’t let up offensively as he made another three, and Rodriguez scored inside on the break, capping a quick 5-0 run. House stopped the run short with his own three.

Johnson III displayed his blazing speed to beat the defender to the rim and scored the layup inside. He then got an easy jumper from less than 12 feet out. Gilbert drew a charge at the other end, and it felt like UNLV was starting to pull away. The score was UNLV 64, High Point 56, with 7:34 remaining.

UNLV turned the ball over which led to a dunk for Austin. Gilbert responded by getting the easy two inside. House then got a flopping warning. It’s definitely good to see that our referees are having none of that. But Austin got another three to fall to cut UNLV’s lead to five.

Victor Iwuakor countered that three with the wide-open dunk, but Thiam  went right back and made another three. Parquet blew the dunk attempt, but Iwuakor was there to clean it up and dunk the ball back in. On the inbound pass, Harkless nailed a three to beat the shot clock, pushing the lead to ten points, 75-65.

There was no coming back after that dagger from Harkless, and the final score read UNLV 78, High Point 68. Once UNLV started making some shots, this one was decided.

 

Runnin’ Takeaways

 

UNLV vs High Point
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Harkless finished with 15 points and seven assists, and Gilbert had 11 points and eight assists. Rodriguez went for 12 points, 10 rebounds, and five steals. Muoka had 12 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks. He was also once again surprisingly negative in plus/minus. He was a team-lowest -6. In comparison, Iwuakor was a team-high +17.

High Point’s Austin put up 20 points on 5-10 shooting from three, eight rebounds, and three blocks. Thiam also scored 20 on 6-14 shooting from three, as well as acquiring six rebounds and four steals.

UNLV won this game despite shooting just 26.9% (7-26) from three and giving up 42.9% (12-28) to High Point. UNLV won the offensive glass 17-10 and forced 20 turnovers. They scored 22 points off of turnovers. They also outscored High Point in the paint 44-14, and on second-chance points, 12-2.

After the game, Kevin Kruger said, “I could not be more proud of our guys for the fight, especially in the second half. We knew that High Point was an incredibly dangerous team.”

Don’t forget to go out and support the Runnin’ RebelsClick here to get your UNLV Runnin’ Rebels tickets! 

 

The Runnin’ Rebels will now travel to San Juan Capistrano, California to play Southern Illinois Monday, November 21st at 10:00 pm. The game will be available to watch on the CBS Sports Network.

               

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-Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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