Hawkins sparks Rebel win Five players score in double
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Five players score in double digits as UNLV defeats Jacksonville State
Though the highly-touted newcomers have gotten most of the attention on the No. 18 Runnin’ Rebels squad, on Nov. 17 it was senior reserve guard Justin Hawkins who stole the show in UNLV’s dominating victory over Jacksonville State University.
Head coach Dave Rice praised Hawkins’ performance and noted that the team isn’t complete without his presence.
“I love Justin Hawkins off the bench. Hawkins is so important to our basketball team,” Rice said. “He’s a captain, a leader and a senior. He is a big part of the winning equation.”
In addition to Hawkins 16-point effort, the Rebels had five players score in double digits en route to their 77-58 win.
In just the second game of the season, the team is proving the questions surrounding their chemistry and ability to share minutes were altogether unwarranted.
“I just feel like we are a deep team, and that any given night someone is going to go off for double digits,” Hawkins said. “We go eight or nine deep, and anybody can go off any night. The fact that we can all play a balanced amount of minutes is amazing.”
After scoring just two points in the season opener against Northern Arizona University, Mike Moser erupted for 19 points and 10 rebounds.
“It’s a major advantage to get everyone touching the ball, and get everyone’s confidence going,” Moser said. “I feel like getting the ball rolling as far as guys’ confidence go, will be major as the season goes on.”
Rice said that he wanted to get Moser involved early on. He responded by hitting a three-point shot to start the game.
“It’s nice to start the game off with a wide-open shot,” Moser said. “I feel like I approached it like the last game. I think more opportunities opened up to me more than last game.
Though UNLV became famous for their “Runnin’ Rebels” moniker due to a high-tempo offense, opponents have been trying to slow down the pace of the game in hopes of throwing UNLV off balance.
“We saw this a lot last year as teams tried to be very patient with us,” Rice said. “We just have to make sure that we don’t allow for the fact that we have to guard for long stretches of time on each possession to keep us playing more efficiently on the offensive end.”
The Rebels will play in back-to-back games to wrap up the Global Sports Classic as the University of Oregon comes to the Thomas & Mack on Nov. 23 and the University of Cincinnati or Iowa State University take on UNLV on Nov. 24.