Las Vegas, NV —The Running Rebels had a tall task on their hand Wednesday night against the Southern Jaguars and they came out flat from the tip-off.
Southern Tai’Reon Joseph scored 22 points in the Jaguars’ 85-71 victory against UNLV on Wednesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
It was an all-around game for the visiting Jaguars. Southern built an early 21-9 lead and were never challenged the rest of the contest, as they shot 56.7% from the field on mostly uncontested looks.
The Rebels went more than five minutes without scoring, allowing the Jaguars to go on a run and build a 25-14 lead with 6:07 left in the first half.
It was tough night for the starting backcourt of D.J. Thomas and Justin Webster, as they’ve combined to make 6-of-17 on the hardwood.
Joseph was 9 of 21 shooting (3 for 8 from downtown) for the Jaguars (1-1). Delang Muon scored 16 points while shooting 7 of 7 from the court and had five boards. Brandon Davis shot 5 for 7, including 3 for 4 from the moon to finish with 13 points, while grabbing six rebounds.
It was a bad night for the Scarlet and Gray. They had open looks, but none of them were dropping. Senior sharpshooter Justin Webster has had a bunch of open shots and converted just one (1-of-7 from 3-point range) in the first half.
Isaiah Cottrell led the Rebels (0-1) in scoring with 18 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. UNLV also got 15 points and four assists from Luis Rodriguez. Dedan Thomas Jr. also had 14 points, five assists and two steals.
UNLV was just 5-of-23 from 3-point range, and they’re shooting 37.8% from the floor. That’s not going to be good enough to beat many teams, and especially not when that opponent is scoring with the ease like Southern did tonight. The visitors shot 50% for most of the night and not going to win many games this season if they don’t tighten up defensively.