College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, November 26, 2011
Top-ranked North Carolina took their 5-0 record out to the Las Vegas Invitational to meet the unranked UNLV Runnin' Rebels Saturday night.
What they discovered upon their arrival was that being #1 is like having targets on your jerseys. The Rebels aimed and fired a 90-80 win, improving to 7-0 and ensuring that there would be a change atop the national rankings come Monday when the latest poll is released.
After a hotly-contested first half, won by the Tar Heels, 42-38, the Runnin' Rebels took command with a 14-0 spurt to open the second half and held North Carolina at bay, never allowing them closer than five points. In the city known for sins, secrets and slots, North Carolina came up dead to start the second half, missing their first ten shots from the field.
Senior swingman Chase Stanback led all scorers with a career high 28 points. The 6'4" guard/forward added 10 boards for his first double-double of the season.
Stanback was 10-for-19 from the field and splashed in four treys. The Rebels had 13 3-pointers on the night, compared to just four for the Tar Heels. They outplayed North Carolina in almost all aspects of the game, hitting 15 of 18 free throws and had a 48-39 rebounding edge. The Rebels also had 22 assists to North Carolina's 14.
Point guard Oscar Bellfield, another of the seniors, chipped in 16 points, including four 3-pointers, adding nine assists. Sophomore Mike Moser pumped in 16 points and had 18 rebounds.
UNLV went 24-9 in 09-10, and 25-9 in 10-11, losing their opening game of the NCAA tournament both times. This year may be different come March as the Rebels sport four seniors and a sophomore as their starting five.