Rashad Vaughn admitted he had a hard time sleeping after UNLV was upset by in-state rival Nevada, 64-62, on Wednesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“Oh, man I lost a lot of sleep from that loss,” Vaughn said. “I was waiting to play another game.”
Vaughn and his Rebel teammates took their frustrations out on a hapless San Jose State squad on Saturday night, shooting 72.2 percent from the floor in the first half en route to a 74-40 victory.
Vaughn finished with a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. All 11 UNLV players who dressed scored at least three points with freshman forward Dwayne Morgan (10 points, 2-of-2 3-pointers) the only other player to finish in double figures. Christian Wood chipped in with six points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Rebels (10-6, 1-2 Mountain West) held San Jose State (2-14, 0-4) to just 23.3 shooting, including 2-of-19 from 3-point range, and two assists.
“I was very proud of the way we practiced the last couple of days and the energy that we brought,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “There’s no doubt that we were a very frustrated team and program after Wednesday’s loss.”
Frustrated, freshman guard Jordan Cornish said, because they took the Wolf Pack lightly.
“Definitely,” Cornish, who finished with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, said. “I definitely think that we overlooked them. … We came into that game kind of B.S.ing. Yeah, we overlooked them.”
“I wouldn’t say we overlooked them,” Vaughn said. “We just didn’t pay attention to detail.”
Despite the lopsided final score Saturday night, the victory wasn’t without its share of warts.
UNLV, which was victimized by 22 offensive rebounds that resulted in a 19-11 edge by the Wolf Pack in second chance points in Wednesday’s loss, gave up 16 offensive boards to the tiny Spartans who finished with a 15-4 advantage in second chance points. No big deal Saturday because of the talent level mismatch but troubling because it was supposed to be a focus in practice.
“Defensive rebounding is a huge key for us moving forward,” Rice said.
UNLV also finished with a season-high 17 turnovers, including nine in the first half when the game was still semi-competitive.
Jaleel Williams finished with a game-high 17 points and Ivo Basor added six points and 10 rebounds to lead San Jose State.
The Rebels now begin a key 11-day stretch that features back-to-back road games at Boise State and San Diego State and a Jan. 21 home contest against New Mexico.
PHOTO BY JEREMY RINCON