Anything less than a dominant, wire-to-wire throttling of Division-III La Verne would have raised eyebrows, but the Rebels took care of business on Thursday, cruising to a 91-44 win.
For the second game in a row, Anthony Bennett set a career best in points, pouring in 27 in just 24 minutes. La Verne simply had no one capable of even getting in Bennett's way, and the Rebels were not shy about exploiting the advantage.
Let's get a little more in-depth with a "Fast Breakdown."
Bennett's (new) best
Throwing Anthony Bennett out there against La Verne was almost unfair. He shot 10-14 from the field, with dunks accounting for four of his baskets. He was simply overpowering, pulling down a career-best 14 rebounds (five offensive), blocking three shots and earning nine free throws (7-9). In a game that was never in doubt from the opening tip, Bennett was by far the biggest mismatch.
Cooking on high
Freshman point guard Daquan Cook made his debut, and he looked like he belonged. Cook drove the lane and found Quintrell Thomas for an easy dunk, and almost connected with Savon Goodman on a fast-break alley-oop moments later. For the game, he finished with four points, three assists and no turnovers in 17 minutes. Dave Rice liked what he saw. "Daquan is a true point guard," said Rice. "He just needs to get stronger, but he has a great feel for the game."
The Season for Giving
The Rebels were able to fire up their fast break against La Verne, thanks in part to the team-wide generosity. UNLV assisted on 23 of its 31 field goals, and every player except Quintrell Thomas notched at least one assist. Bryce Dejean-Jones set the tone with six helpers, with several coming in the open floor. For the game, UNLV scored 20 fast-break points.
The top three scorers for UNLV were freshmen, once again highlighting the strong recruiting class that Rice brought in over the summer. Bennett had his 27, while Katin Reinhardt (14 points) and Savon Goodman (13) slotted in behind him. It was especially nice to see Reinhardt break out of his recent shooting slump, as he went 5-10 from the field and 4-6 from beyond the 3-point line. "There were some things mechanically that I was doing," said Reinhardt. "As soon as we got back from the road I made a point to get in the gym and get extra shots up."
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