RTC Live: UNLV @ BYU

Posted by rtmsf on February 5th, 2011

Game #130.  RTC Live is back at BYU for another superb Mountain West matchup in Provo.

It is another episode of the Jimmer Fredette show on Saturday afternoon as BYU takes on UNLV. The Runnin’ Rebels are looking to get back into the mix in the Mountain West. UNLV currently sits at 5-3, two games back of 7-1 BYU and SDSU. UNLV is on the right side of the bubble when it comes NCAA Tournament time, but a win in Provo could mean great things for their seed selection. In the two teams’ first meeting this season sophomore Anthony Marshall scored a season high 26 points for UNLV, but it was not enough as BYU won 89-77 in Las Vegas. In that game UNLV “held” The Jimmer to just 39 points. With UConn’s Kemba Walker fading Fredette is in the driver’s seat for the NCAA scoring crown, and with a couple more attention grabbing performances the National Player of the Year award is not out of the question either. Can Jimmer drop 40? 50? Or will UNLV steal the spotlight?

Note: BYU doesn’t allow live-blogging so our correspondent will provide updates at each television timeout during the game.

Hello from the sold out Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. A sell out here is no small accomplishment as the building sits 22,700. Student section has been nearly full since I walked in an hour before tip, and the ticketed sections are slowly starting to fill up. I’ve seen a handful of brave UNLV supporters in red, but they are drowned out in the season long BYU white-out. The game is on the Versus network, should you be lucky enough to have that channel and would like to follow along at home.

16 min MTO update:

BYU-7 UNLV-6 15:45 remaining- BYU does the curtain drop from the scoreboard, lights-out introductions a la the Lakers. It is pretty dang cool. Brandon Davies already has two fouls and the Cougars are getting killed on the offensive boards to start the game. That doesn’t figure to get better without Daives. UNLV should look to exploit their advantage down low.

12 min MTO update

BYU-18 UNLV-14 9:50 remaining- UNLV not looking very composed. Carlos Lopez received a tech for pushing during a loose ball scuffle and then Quintrell Thomas got a technical for complaining to the ref following a foul call. Rebels are also settling for long jumpers, which are open, but the shots are not falling. Nice time out from Kruger, got his players’ focus back and they quickly answer the BYU run with a much-needed five point run.

8 min MTO update

BYU- 27 UNLV- 17 6:05- Jackson Emery looks much better tonight than he has in recent games. He’s already got seven points, and he is active on defense and setting up teammates on offense. His elevated play will be really important if BYU is to make a deep NCAA tourney run. He takes a lot of pressure off Fredette. UNLV cut the lead down to three and then immediately got blizted by a seven point BYU run. Huge momentum swing.

4 min MTO

BYU-30 UNLV-19 3:58 remaining. That was a quick media time out turnaround so lets take a minute to talk about The Jimmer. Can he be Player of the Year? With Kemba Walker wearing down at UConn, I don’t see any reason why not. It is a two man race between him and Sullinger out at Ohio State. How both teams finish will likely decide it. If BYU finishes with a top two seed in the tourney it would be hard to say no.

Halftime

BYU-38 UNLV-27 Halftime: Fredette has 13 points, with nine of them coming from the free throw line. I feel like I am being robbed of the greatness of The Jimmer. No magical pull-up 30 footers to be had so far. One thing that would kill me as a BYU fan is Fredette’s tendency to jump before he passes. He throws a lot of balls away when he does that, but I guess you take that when he scores 27.6 points a game. UNLV never made BYU pay for having Davies on the bench for the last 18 minutes of the first half. Still UNLV only trails by 11 and have not shot the ball well at all despite getting open looks. It is far from over in Provo.

SECOND HALF

Under-16 MTO

BYU- 44 UNLV-33 15:55 remaining. UNLV has been really confused by the BYU zone all night, but still wont quite go away. Still have yet to see a Fredette three-point make. UNLV has taken it away and are making him drive to the hoop, which he does well, but not quite as well as he shoots.

Under-12 MTO

BYU- 51 UNLV- 42 11:58 remaining. On the season, UNLV averages 72 points a game. Right now they sit 30 points short of that with just under twelve minutes remaining. That is due in part to the BYU zone which UNLV has been completely unable to solve. Also in part due to some terrible shooting. UNLV is shooting just 29% and a lot of those shots have been open looks. A couple of those shots go down and this quickly becomes a close ball game.

Under-8 MTO

BYU- 66 UNLV-51 7:17 remaining. Davies has made his presence felt on the defensive end. He has a couple of big blocks and taken a couple of charges as well. Every time it looks like the Rebels might make a run, BYU finds an answer. Jackson Emery has been fantastic in this game, taking advantage of all the open looks he has gotten while Fredette has been double teamed. UNLV needs to try and cut the lead to six or seven by the next media time out if they want a real shot of coming back in this game.

Under-4 MTO

BYU-69 UNLV- 57 3:52 remaining. This has been a real solid performance from BYU. They have found an answer every time it looked like UNLV might be taking the momentum. Fredette has had a so-so performance by his standards, but they have had role players step up and fill the void. On a side note: BYU fans…you can not have a sign that says NCAA’s Loudest Arena and have me be able to hear the squeak of shoes in the upper deck media section. Step your game up.

Final update:

BYU-78 UNLV-64, FINAL. The Jimmer became the Mountain West’s all time scoring leader on a free throw with about three minutes remaining, and even on what felt like an off night he scored 29 points thanks to a 16-16 performance from the charity stripe. UNLV is going to look back at this one as one that got away. The Rebels had their chances but just could not get over the hump. BYU fans taunted UNLV with a pretty loud “NIT” chant in the final minutes. I think UNLV is pretty solidly in the tournament at this point, but they really could have used an impact victory on the road. Thanks for joining us! See you on the road.

rtmsf (3743 Posts)


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