Recap: UNLV vs. Illinois
Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Rayvonte Rice registered a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Illinois Fighting Illini slipped by the UNLV Rebels, 61-59, in non-conference action the Thomas & Mack Center.
Also scoring in double figures for Illinois (6-0) was Nnanna Egwu who dropped in 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor.
The Rebels (2-3) were paced by Khem Birch and his 12 points and 10 rebounds, adding four blocked shots in the setback. Bryce Dejean-Jones and Kevin Olekaibe contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively. Roscoe Smith cleared a game-high 13 boards, but scored only six points on the night.
The Illini had a hard time finding the basket in the first half, shooting only 32.4 percent from the floor and 2-of-6 beyond the arc, leaving the squad with a double-digit deficit at the break, 39-29.
In the second half it was UNLV that struggled from the field, converting a total of just eight field goals. Trailing by two points with less than 30 seconds remaining, the hosts had the ball but were unable to get off a high- percentage shot, instead it was Olekaibe with a 3-point attempt in the waning moments that missed the mark.
In a game that featured 11 ties and 13 lead changes, Illinois picked up the win despite shooting only 35.8 percent from the floor.Game Notes