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No. 24 UNLV Defeats Chicago State, 74-52

Anthony Bennett (pictured) and Khem Birch both had double-doubles in UNLV's win over Chicago State.

Jan. 3, 2013

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- UNLV coach Dave Rice said he wants his team to do a better job of valuing the basketball.

That should come as no surprise after his Runnin' Rebels overcame a relatively sloppy performance and a season-high 21 turnovers Thursday night, as Anthony Bennett had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead UNLV to a 74-52 victory over Chicago State.

"We want to play fast, but we got to make sure that we find the open man and we make an extra pass," Rice said.

Bennett, a freshman who came in averaging 19.2 points per game, was one of four players to score in double figures for the Runnin' Rebels (12-2) and has now led UNLV in scoring in 12 of their 14 games. Chem. Khem Birch added 13 points and 12 rebounds, Katin Reinhardt had 12 points and Carlos Lopez-Sosa chipped in 11.

"We got a tremendous lift off of our bench tonight," said Rice, whose bench players outscored Chicago State's 30-12. "Carlos Lopez-Sosa, Justin Hawkins and Khem. Those guys are team guys who provided exactly what we needed, both in terms of statistics but then also team play."

The Runnin' Rebels pulled away late with a 13-0 run, going up 66-42 after the Cougars (4-13) had pulled within 11.

"It's always tough to come in the way we wanted to," Lopez-Sosa said. "You're never going to come out and have the game plan come out just the way you want it to. We were a little bit all over the place, but coach called a few timeouts and we got together and we took our time. We weren't going to let their pressure get to us."

Jamere Dismukes scored 13 points and Matt Ross added 11 for the Cougars, who couldn't compete with the Runnin' Rebels in the paint. UNLV outrebounded the Cougars 49-27 and outscored them 30-22 inside and 23-8 on second-chance points.

In addition to his scoring and rebounding, Birch also blocked four shots.

Chicago State, coming off a 58-53 win at Toledo on Monday, had its second-worst shooting performance of the season, making just 30.5 percent of its shots from the field.

"Rice does a great job," Chicago State coach Tracy Dilly said. "We were kind of helter-skelter just throwing things in, and everything we put in (Rice) found a counter for. They've got more depth than any team we have played, and we've played Notre Dame, we've played Ohio State, we've played DePaul."

Up 13-11 at the 13:12 mark of the first half, UNLV used a 10-0 run over the next 5:10 to take a 23-11 lead, and the Runnin' Rebels never looked back. They extended their lead to 18 when Birch ignited the crowd with a slam dunk and moments later made two free throws to put UNLV ahead 37-19 with 1:34 left in the half. UNLV shot a blistering 58 percent in the first half.

"We couldn't keep up with the pace, and that's the difference from when you talk about a Top 20 program and when you talk about a team that's just built," Dilly added.

After having its nine-game winning streak snapped at North Carolina on Saturday, UNLV fell out of the Top 25 for the first time all season.



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