UNLV has had a bit of a resurgence in the last two weeks.
Two Saturdays ago, they knocked off San Diego State at home. They followed that up with a win over Colorado State and then went into Laramie, WY, and blew out the Cowboys last Saturday.
All told, they’ve won four of their last five games, with three of those wins coming against the rest of the MWC’s top four. With SDSU having to visit New Mexico this week, the Rebels should be able to play their way into the No. 3 seed in the Mountain West tournament, meaning they avoid New Mexico until a potential matchup in the title game.
That’s a good thing for a team that has had some struggles, particularly on the road, this year.
But the concerning part of UNLV’s latest road trip had nothing to do with the outcome of the game as much as it did with Anthony Bennett.
Dave Rice’s leading scorer and rebounder, and the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft this June, played all of four minutes against Wyoming because of a shoulder injury that seems to be a result of sleeping on it wrong.
“I didn’t think it was that serious until he couldn’t get a rebound,” Khem Birch said after the Wyoming game. “He couldn’t even take off his shorts in the locker room. It was really hurting him.”
Rice said he doesn’t think that the injury is that serious, and with UNLV having the week off (they don’t play until Saturday), Bennett has plenty of time to get healthy.
But if the injury is serious, the Rebels could be in trouble.
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.