March 15, 2008

UNLV Basks In Repeat

LAS VEGAS -- UNLV became the first team in the nine-year Mountain West Conference tournament history to win back-to-back titles.

The Rebels have guard Wink Adams to thank as well as the rebounding of Corey Bailey and Rene Rougeau.

Continue reading "UNLV Basks In Repeat" »

Fights Break Out In Stands

LAS VEGAS -- Second-seeded UNLV won its second straight Mountain West Conference tournament title with a 76-61 victory over No. 1 BYU, but the postgame ceremony was marred by numerous fights breaking out in the stands.

Continue reading "Fights Break Out In Stands" »

UNLV Pushes Ahead

LAS VEGAS -- Offensive rebounds and UNLV's Wink Adams are combining to kill BYU down the stretch.

Adams just hit back-to-back three-pointers from the left wing to give UNLV a 64-56 lead with 4:08 remaining.

Continue reading "UNLV Pushes Ahead" »

Nearly Even Again

LAS VEGAS -- The swings continue.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Joe Darger gave UNLV a 45-38 lead and extended its opening run to 12-1.

Continue reading "Nearly Even Again" »

UNLV Starts Hot

LAS VEGAS -- UNLV came out of halftime on a 6-1 run to take a 39-38 lead on a rebound putback by Rene Rougeau.

It marks UNLV's first lead since 2-0. BYU called a timeout to quickly try to regroup before the spurt grows larger.

It is similar to last year's game when BYU gave up a first half lead and lost. The Cougars still have time to make sure history does not repeat itself.

Fight To The Finish

LAS VEGAS -- There is a big boxing match in this city later tonight, but BYU and UNLV are playing the undercard by trading blows in the championship game.

BYU has grabbed a 37-33 halftime lead as UNLV narrowed the gap when Mareceo Rutledge put home an airball of teammate Kendall Wallace just before the buzzer.

Continue reading "Fight To The Finish" »

Terry Has An Answer

LAS VEGAS -- UNLV's Curtis Terry just hit a deep pull-up three-pointer to bring the Rebels back from an 11-point deficit and cut BYU's lead to 28-23 with 3:58 remaining.

The Rebels are going to need to ride Terry if they want to keep this one close before halftime.

Continue reading "Terry Has An Answer" »

Collinsworth Throws It Down

LAS VEGAS -- That play is sure to make the highlights.

BYU freshman forward Chris Collinsworth has been playing solid all tournament for the Cougars, and now he has a poster shot to put on his wall.

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No Shortage Of Points

LAS VEGAS -- UNLV's defensive formula has been to put intense pressure on BYU's guards to rattle them.

The strategy worked early as BYU had trouble just inbounding the ball, but now both teams have found their range.

Continue reading "No Shortage Of Points" »

More Compelling Game On Tap?

LAS VEGAS -- BYU and UNLV traded blowouts on their home floors during the regular season, but everyone is hoping for a more compelling game tonight.

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Title Game Will Be A Rematch

LAS VEGAS -- The 2008 Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game will have a familiar feel.

No. 1 BYU will play No. 2 UNLV tomorrow night in a rematch of last year's title game. The Rebels just held off No. 6 Utah 61-55 in the second semifinal tonight in front of their home fans at the Thomas & Mack Center.

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March 14, 2008

BYU Back In Title Game

LAS VEGAS -- BYU will get another shot to play for the Mountain West Conference title.

The top-seeded Cougars pulled away down the stretch and hit their free throws late to beat No. 4 San Diego State 63-54.

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BYU Establishes Slight Cushion

LAS VEGAS -- BYU has started to create some separation in the second half.

The Cougars have taken their largest lead - 7 points at 46-39 - with 7:41 remaining. Lee Cummard has helped establish the cushion with a pull-up three-pointer and a shot inside.

San Diego State guard Richie Williams just went down at midcourt and had to be assisted off the floor. He is on the bench, but appears to be OK. The trainers are not working on him.

Miles Increases Production

LAS VEGAS -- BYU has received some offense from an unlikely source to take a 38-36 lead with 12:21 remaining in the game.

Sophomore forward Chris Miles has nearly tripled his season average in the last three minutes. He has scored BYU's only three baskets from the field in that span. Miles is averaging only 2.5 points per game.

Wade Back On Floor

LAS VEGAS -- Lorrenzo Wade is back in the game to start the second half and he showed what San Diego State was missing.

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Another Close Encounter

LAS VEGAS -- Did you expect any different?

BYU and San Diego State played close games in their first two meetings, and the tournament version is following the same script after one half.

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Forwards Join The Fray

LAS VEGAS -- The guards had their chance, now the inside game is in the mix.

San Diego State's Billy White and Ryan Amoroso have made their presence felt with an array of baskets inside.

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A New Two For SDSU

LAS VEGAS -- The two players hurting BYU most aren't the ones many would have predicted.

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BYU Starts With Defense

LAS VEGAS -- Defense has been key for BYU at the outset.

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Semifinals On Tap

LAS VEGAS -- It will be hard for the semifinal games at the Mountain West Conference tournament to match the compelling two quarterfinal games last night.

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October 17, 2007

Coach With A Sweet Stroke

LITTLETON, Colo. -- Some current players aren't aware of NCAA history, but J.R. Giddens and Darren Prentice knew plenty about their new coach before he arrived at New Mexico.

They didn't need to Google the name when Steve Alford accepted the job.

Continue reading "Coach With A Sweet Stroke" »

Kruger Back On His Feet

LITTLETON, Colo. -- UNLV head coach Lon Kruger had bypass surgery on Aug. 2, but says he's feeling fine. Kruger discovered his heart troubles during a routine stress test, and had six bypasses performed.

Continue reading "Kruger Back On His Feet" »

Mountain West Welcomes New Faces

LITTLETON, Colo. -- The nine-team MWC is undergoing a torrent of change with five new head coaches taking over this season. The most notable hire was Steve Alford, who left Iowa for New Mexico.

Continue reading "Mountain West Welcomes New Faces" »

MWC Preseason Poll Released

LITTLETON, Colo. -- The Mountain West Conference preseason poll has been released, and Brigham Young was picked to win the regular season title again.

BYU earned 15 first-place votes to outdistance defending MWC tournament champion UNLV.

Continue reading "MWC Preseason Poll Released" »

October 08, 2007

One More Time

What would you do if you had one more chance to play the game that you loved for just one more year?

Would you come back to do it all over again?

Will Bakanowsky is.

The NCAA announced Monday that the UCF center will now have an extra year of eligibility, which will allow him to play for the Knights during the upcoming 2007-08 season.

Continue reading "One More Time" »

October 03, 2007

Like Father, Like Son

It's a family affair at San Diego State these days.

That's because father and son will both be working the sidelines when the Aztecs open their season Nov. 9 in Fresno, Calif. at the World Vision Classic against Liberty.

On Wednesday, San Diego State coach Steve Fisher named his son Mark as his new assistant coach after serving as the team's Director of Operations for the last five seasons.

Continue reading "Like Father, Like Son" »

March 10, 2007

All Tournament Team

The 2007 MWC All Tournament Team

Keena Young - BYU
Trent Plaisted - BYU
Lee Cummard - BYU
Brad Jones - Wyoming
Wink Adams - UNLV
Kevin Kruger - UNLV

MVP - Kruger

UNLV vs. BYU - Viva Las Vegas

When it was all said and done, their fans rushed the floor, the players stood on top of the officials table and after numerous requests for the fans to leave the floor, nobody listened and nobody cared. Instead, all is well in Sin City tonight as UNLV pulled off the second upset of the day here at the Thomas & Mack Center, 78-70.

The Rebels did not take their first lead of the game until 5:33 in the second half and it was only by one, but it was their ability to hold onto this lead even when BYU came to within three at 1:55 to go that made all of the difference.

Leading the way for this scrappy UNLV team that never game up was Michael Umeh with 18 points and seven rebounds. He was followed by Wink Adams with 15 points and Gaston Essengue

On the other end, the Cougars just couldn't get momentum to swing back in their direction. BYU's Keena Young led all scores with 34 points and was followed by Lee Cummard with 13. BYU’s big man on the board was Cummard who finished with a double-double from 13 rebounds.

With this win, UNLV rides high on a seven game win streak into the NCAA tournament with the automatic bid. In addition, the Rebels claim their 10th conference tournament title.

That’s it from Vegas!

UNLV vs. BYU: Hold onto your hats

There's a minute and 30 seconds left on the clock with UNLV's Essengue at the free throw line.

With the tension level and noise at an all game high, the next few plays will mean everything.

Essengue made both of his shots, so here we got at 71-66 UNLV...

Stay tuned...

UNLV vs. BYU: The tie-breaker

UNLV has just connected on two unanswered buckets to give them the lead.

We're at 4:28 left and if if the Rebels can keep this up, this will be just another event that happens in Vegas and will stay in Vegas.

Stay tuned..

BYU 59

UNLV vs. BYU: The change...

With 15:34 remaining and BYU was sitting pretty on a five point lead.

The Cougars had a better shooting percentage at 50% for the half and looked to be very comfortable as UNLV was only shooting 44% for the half at that time.

Now at our last time out, the Cougars are not sitting so pretty. They shooting percentage is dropping (now at 46%) and UNLV is getting hot (now at 50%).

UNLV actually took the lead at 11:40 and with both teams exchanging baskets, there's a lot of game still to be played.

Stay tuned...

BYU 54

Time: 9:18

UNLV vs. BYU: The Rebel run

UNLV is on the move.

THey have been chipping away and now find themselves within striking distance at only three behind.

The crowd is loving every shot, but hating every call.

Stay tuned

UNLV vs. BYU: And the Oscar goes to...

BYU's Trent Plaisted...

UNLV's Gaston Essengue just took a shot over him and while it looks like there was some contact, there was not nearly enough contact to warrent the acting performane of Plaisted.

The Rebels are coming back as we are at 41-35 BYU with 16:48 left.

Stay tuned...

UNLV vs. BYU: Halftime Vegas Style

Alright, forget the dance routines, shoting baskets for thousands of dollars or free pizza, nobody knows how to do halftime entertainment like the MWC.

There are two shirtless, and very nicely built, men doing contortionist moves on and with each other at center court and I have to believe that they are from one of the Cirque du Soleil shows. I just hope the half of this crowd who are homophobic don't develop a complex from this brilliant performance of strength, agility and balance and go up and drink off the images of these two guys.

The crowd did give them a standing ovation.

UNLV vs. BYU: Bring on the noise!

Being that it's now halftime, I need to go find a quiet place to think.

The UNLV fans are bad enough, but add their decible-breaking noise level the chants, cheers and jeers of the BYU fans, it's pretty loud in here.

BYU is still on top 37-26

Stay tuned..

UNLV vs. BYU: Home court advantage, shmantage

There's less than a minute to go in the first half and seeing how UNLV continues to be called for lame fouls, UNLV may be getting homerd at home.

The calls have not been pretty so far and as a charging foul against UNLV was just over looked, UNLV has only been able to make a comeback thanks to their shooting.

Stay tuned, it's getting hot in here...

BYU 32

UNLV vs. BYU: You know you are in Vegas when...

It's not in every arena or at any college basketball game where you can buy all forms of alcohol.

That is except for if you are the Thomas & Mack Center.

This is where the bars, and I'm not just talking about the kind of bar that only has a beer tap, come close to outnumbering the food stands. The bars up on the concourse level are fully stocked with everything you can imagine. There are even a couple of bars that look like they could be in a casino.

The combination of the alcohol with the firery nature of the fans, especially those sitting right behind me, gives me great comfort in my safety during this game. Sure I am the only female member of the print media and you would think that there would be someone along here who would help me out if need be, but after one of the BYU coaches who was scouting last night's UNLV vs. CSU got territorial over a seat that my laptop was in front of and my gluteus maximus had been planted in for the previous couple of hours, I know that I am all on my own.

Oh, there's also information tables on timeshare purchasing and a promotion to win private lessons from Nick Faldo also available for anyone who is interested.

Stay tuned, we're halfway through the first half and BYU is enjoying a comfortable 24-13 lead...

UNLV vs. BYU: BYU on a run

We're almost five minutes into the game and if UNLV is not careful, their fans may hit the slots before this game is over in hopes of having better luck.

We're at 15:29 and the Rebels have yet to score while the Cougars are up 8-0 on 57% shooting from the field.

Stay tuned, it's early in the city that never sleeps...

UNLV vs. BYU: Start your engines!

With Nascar in town, I thought this was the only way to start of my final blog for the weekend.

It's time for the MWC men's championship game and the second half of the BYU double header as the BYU women just fell to New Mexico in their championship match-up.

As both No. 1 seed BYU and No. 2 seed UNLV are big physical teams, this should be a good game. If UNLV can control the boards and take not only the BYU trees, but their guns from the outside in check, the Running Rebels may have a chance which will make their fans, even in the very last row of the arena happy.

The UNLV played 'Viva Las Vegas' a few minutes ago, so get ready to be entertained.

Stay tuned, we're about to tip off...

UNLV vs. CSU: Another one bites the dust

The fat lady has belted out her last note and UNLV advances to the championship game against BYU tomorrow afternoon.

CSU had a few flashes of brilliance, but the Running Rebels gave the Rams the horn tonight with a final score of 88-72.

Leading all scores for UNLV was Kevin Kruger with 21 points, followed by birthday boy Wink Adams with 18 points and Michael Umeh with 15.

Meanwhile their big man on the boards was Joel Anthony with eight grabs.

Although CSU finished with five players in double digits (Jason Smith (16), Stuart Creason (14), Cory Lewis and Tim Denson (13) and Tyler Smith (11)), UNLV dominated where it counted - 57% shooting from the field and 60% shooting from three point land.

The broadcasting team is packing it up and so am I.

Good night and see you tomorrow afternoon!

UNLV vs. CSU: Big men shouldn't dribble

CSU's Smith just helped bring the ball up the court after picking off a pass and I have to say that seeing someone who is 7-feet tall dribbling the ball just looks unnatural.

Granted Smith is fairly coordinated, but seeing him try to bring the ball up the court reminded me (and I think everyone else here) why post players don't bring up the ball - no quickness.

Stay tuned...

CSU 69

UNLV vs. CSU: The Runaway Rebels?

UNLV continues to pour it on through the second half.

The Rebels continue to runaway with the score, which is now at 70-53.

Stay tuned...

Time: 7:48

UNLV vs. CSU: Hang time without the finish

UNLV's Bailey has some hops, but on the last alley-oop from teammate Lawrence, he got caught hanging around on the rim...

Stay tuned, UNLV's Bailey is on the ground, but with this city being all about the show, I think he's got more hang time in store before the game is over.

CSU 38

Time: 12:14

UNLV vs. CSU: Pushing around

CSU is down, but they are not going out without a fight.

First there was an elbow push by CSU's Lewis right in front of the UNLV bench that brought UNLV fans to their feet crying for a foul.

Then there was UNLV's big man Smith who knocked down a UNLV player while going for a rebound.

Now CSU's Lewis and UNLV's Adams just exchanged words.

I just heard that Lewis decked a player earlier in the season, so I think the safe bet is going to be on a fight before the end of the night.

Stay tuned...

CSU 37

Time: 13:43

UNLV vs. CSU: Hot from the arch

They are not just running, but they are also smoking hot rebels.

UNLV is shooting 75% from three point land. This includes Kevin Kruger being a perfect 5-5, Joe Darger being close to perfect at 2-3 and Michael Umeh hitting both of his attempts.

UNLV is pulling away again and the crowd is getting loud as we go into halftime.

Stay tuned...

CSU 31

UNLV vs. CSU: CSU is on the move...

What looked like it was going to be a shut out with UNLV enjoying a generous lead, now looks like it will be a close one as CSU has rallied back and bringing the game back within reaching distance.

UNLV still has the edge with their current 63% shooting to CSU's 50% from the field, but with a few steals and smart shots, the Rams are making this a game.

Stay tuned...

CSU 27

Time: 2:58

March 09, 2007

UNLV vs. CSU: Another blowout?

We're over halfway through the first half and as UNLV continues to run up the score on some sharp shooting and solid defense, this looks like we are on the way to another blowout.

Stay tuned, there's 8:03 on the clock and UNLV is up 28-16...

UNLV vs. CSU: How tall can you grow?

Just when I was feeling pretty short around the members of the last two teams that were on the floor, I just found out that I can feel shorter.

First off, I'm no slouch at 5-foot-8, yet considering that CSU has three players who are 7-feet tall, I'm feeling like one of the cheerleaders right now.

CSU's Stuart Creason and Jason Smith are on the floor right now and even though I am in the second row of media and on a riser, I'm sure both of these guys could look over me if they were standing in front of me.

Yet just as I am feeling a bit insecure at being vertically challenged, after seeing Smith get hit with a line drive in the face, I am enjoying my shortness.

Not only I am feeling like a dwarf among the trees, but as the only female member of the media along press row, I'm also trying not to let my abundance of estrogen lessen my importance of blogging about this game. Although after I just got slighted on the most recent box distribution so I may need to roar a bit.

Stay tuned, it's early and it's still anyone's game.


Time: 15:12

UNLV vs. CSU: Last game of the night!

After about four bottles of water, two Pepsi's, some good chicken and too many bags of chips, it's time for the second semi-final game of the night - UNLV vs. CSU.

While UNLV comes in as the No. 2 seed and CSU is the No. 6 seed, nothing is sacred either during March Madness or in Las Vegas.

Stay tuned, we're getting ready to tip off.

BYU vs. Wyoming: Another semi-final over, another BYU win

Here's the news flash of the night (NOT!) BYU just finished clobbering Wyoming, 96-84.

There were moments of brilliance by Wyoming and they were even able to get 19 fouls called against the Cougars, but in the end, it was all BYU.

First in scoring, BYU controlled the game with their 51% vs. 46% shooting from the field and 64% vs. 54% from the free throw line.

Next in rebounding, BYU controlled the boards 42-38.

BYU finished with four players, Plaisted (27), Cummard (21), Ainge (16) and Young (12) in double digits while Wyoming finished with three players, Ewing (23), Jones (23) and Platt (13) in double figures.

BYU's Plaisted and Young also had double-doubles on the night.

So the men's team at BYU is following up on what their women also accomplished today, which is making it possible to play in theri respective championship games.

Stay tuned, semi-final No. 2 - UNLV vs. Colorado State is coming up next.

BYU vs. Wyoming: Smooth as silk

Since Wyoming is getting homered enough in this game with the officials blantently calling everything for BYU, one of the prettiest moves of the night does not go to a BYU player, but instead to Wyoming's Jones.

His coast to coast lay up was so pretty and flawless, I'm surprised the refs didn't try to find something in that play to call a foul against the Cowboys.

What's interesting though is that despite the game being five against eight, Wyoming is keeping this interesting.

Stay tuned...

BYU 77
Wyoming 71

Time: 3:03

BYU vs. Wyoming: Can't catch a break

Just when Wyoming thought things were going their way, a foul underneath the BYU basket brought them back to reality.

If that wasn't tough enough, after the sideline referee told Wyoming's Jones to keep playing instead of worrying about BYU's Ainge holding onto his shorts, there still isn't much of anything going Wyoming's way.

The Cowboys are only shooting 46% from the field while BYU is lighting up the scoreboard with their 60% shooting.

The Cowboys are getting slammed on the boards, 34-28.

BYU's Plaisted just did a beautiful reverse lay up in heavy traffic under the net, so with less than seven minutes left, the beatings will not drag on too much longer here in Vegas.

Stay tuned...

BYU 73
Wyoming 58

BYU vs. Wyoming: How much worse can it get?

I think that's the question on the mind of all of the Wyoming players and fans.

BYU has a stronghold on their lead and when Wyoming's Brad Jones can't even pick up the easy points at the free throw line, it may get worse before it gets better here in Vegas.

I didn't check the line on tonight's game, but if anyone out there placed a bet on Wyoming thinking that there would be an upset, I think it's now safe to file your ticket in the circular file in the room.

Stay tuned...

BYU 59
Wyoming 41

BYU vs. Wyoming: Pouring it on

I don't know if BYU is that good or if the Wyoming team is that bad, but the Cowboys have dug themself in a hole so deep, they may not get out of it.

It's halftime and the game might as well be over.

BYU is outshooting (60% vs. 46%), outrebouding (23-14), out stealing (four vs. one) using better shot selection and has better defensing that is shutting the Cowboys down.

BYU is so good that they've got two players in double digits (Trent Plaisted and Lee Cummard) and two more that will probably break throught the double digit mark early on in the second half.

Wyoming, well, when you have only one player in double digist Brandon Ewing with 15 and you are trying to come back from a 25 point lead, there may not be enough time in a game to beat BYU.

Stay tuned, the second half of the BYU show is coming up.

BYU 54
Wyoming 35

BYU vs. Wyoming: En fuego...

The only way to describe the BYU men's basketball team.

In the first 12 minutes of the game, they are 15-20 on their shooting. While that is impressive on its own, compared to Wyoming's 6-16, there's just no comparing the two teams.

Stay tuned...

BYU 38
Wyoming 15
Time: 7:49

BYU vs. Wyoming: Wake up!

Alright, BYU continues to run away with the game with their 20+ point lead, but even though there no longer seems to be a game going on, if you are sitting courtisde you should pay attention.In particular, if you are part of the cheerleading squads.

You never want to see someone get hurt, but as one of the Cowboy cheerleaders was just escorted behind the stands after a BYU player fell on her, you can't help to wonder why she wasn't paying attention to begin with.

Stay tuned, Wyoming, along with their cheerleaders, will wake up soon and get back into the game.

BYU 29
Wyoming 6

BYU vs. Wyoming: The quick lead

We're almost five minutes into the game and the No. 1 seed BYU Cougars are showing the No. 5 seed Wyoming Cowboys what is means to be ranked (BYU is No. 23) and have a higher seed.

The Cougars have jumped out to a 17-5 lead and doing just about everything right.

Stay tuned...

Time 15:05

BYU vs. Wyoming: Semi-final #1

After a short break, we're back as unranked Wyoming and No. 23 BYU men's teams are warming up on the court.

Along with a much fuller arena and more media, including CSTV's own Tom Hart and Steve Lappas who I am sitting directly behind, there seems to be more excitement for the third game of the day.

Yes we have all of the cheerleaders, bands, mascots and the guy wearing the wheel barrel, so stay tuned, tip off is moments away.

December 09, 2006

Nevill Comes East and Puts on a Show

Hang Time

KINGSTON, R.I. - His nickname is Niffty, his accent is Australian and his game, according to his coach, is still in its formative stages.

But Utah’s 7-foot-1, 265-pound sophomore, Luke Nevill had his East Coast unveiling on Saturday at the Ryan Center and the overall reaction after he went 10-for-14 from the field for a season-high 25 points and 16 rebounds (in 38 minutes), was one of awe.

Or more precisely, for at least one observer, one of Uwe.

Continue reading "Nevill Comes East and Puts on a Show" »

Wild OT Ensues

KINGSTON, R.I. - A wild back and forth affair has ensued in overtime as the teams have exchanged 2’s and 3’s with reckless abandon, scoring a combined 23 points in the first four-plus minutes of OT.

Utah leads 84-83 with 28.4 seconds remaining. Jim Baron has called a timeout to set up the Rams last play, which they will in-bound from mid-court

Utes Force OT

KINGSTON, R.I. - We’ve got overtime at the Ryan Center, after a wild finish saw Utah’s Shaun Green hit a desparation three to knot the game 72-72 as time expired. It was Green's third 3-pointer of the game.

Following Keith Cothran’s one of two from the line for Rhody with 15 seconds left, Utah in-bounded and Johnnie Bryant missed a wild 3-pointer which would have tied the game. The ball went out of bounds near the Ute bench, leaving .7 seconds remaining. Utah inbounded from that spot, executed a tremendous play and Shaun Green buried a 30-foot swish to send the game into overtime.

Utah then came out and hit the first field goal of the OT for its first lead of the afternoon.

With 2:14left in the first OT, we are tied 77-77

Utah Ties it Up

KINGSTON, R.I. - Utah has fought back to tie the game at 65 with 3:35 left in the contest.

Junior Johnnie Bryant for Utah has 11 second half points and is 3-of-4 from 3-point land in the second 20:00 (4-of-9 overall). The Utes are now 9-of-24 from behind the arc and Rhody is 9-of-21.

Continue reading "Utah Ties it Up" »

Utes Hang Tough

KINGSTON, R.I. - Utah displays great perimeter ball movement and it’s helped them to stay in the game, trailing 59-53 with 7:41 left in the game. The Utes are 3-of-6 from 3-point land in the second half and 7-of-19 for the game.

Luke Nevill continues to lead all scorers with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. He is 6-of-9 from the field.

Continue reading "Utes Hang Tough" »

Halftime Observations and Stats

KINGSTON, R.I. - An entertaining first of basketball form the Ryan Center as the teams combined to take 27 3-pointers (four makes for Utah and six for URI).

Utah has been gaining more and more comfort in the half court set and Rhody continues to try and push things when they can, but only managed two fast break points in the first stanza. The pace, at this point, favors the Utes.

Continue reading "Halftime Observations and Stats" »

Rhody By Five At Half

KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island holds a 38-33 lead at the half after shooting 50 percent from the field (13 of 26). Utah overcame a sluggish start to get back to 42 percent from the field (11 of 26).

Ram Joe Mbang hit a fall away, fall down jumper with 1.3 seconds left in the half, was fouled and then converted on the free throw to account for the five point lead.

Continue reading "Rhody By Five At Half" »

Tight One at the Ram Dome

KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island has managed to maintain a 34-30 lead with 2:04 left in the half. Utah’s 3-point shot is starting to fall and Luke Nevill continues to dominate in the middle with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Will Daniels leads Rhody with 10 points.

. . . Utah is outrebounding Rhody 18-12.

Continue reading "Tight One at the Ram Dome" »

Runnin' Rams Get Out Quick

KINGSTON, R.I. - Utah’s Luke Nevill is living up to the hype early. He’s a determined beast on the boards, he hit his first two of three from the field and sank one of two free throws before six minutes had elapsed. He has seven points at the under-12:00 timeout. URI leads 19-12 with 11:28 left in the half.

The Utes are clearly content with dumping it to Nevill on the block and letting him either score or get banged for the free throws (he shoots 70 percent from the line on the season).

Continue reading "Runnin' Rams Get Out Quick" »

The Fast and The Furious

KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island opened with two straight 3-pointers to spring out to a 6-0 lead. It’s the second straight game in which Rhody has opened with back-to-back threes.

Rhody proceeded to hit its first four threes (two for Will Daniels), taking a 14-6 lead and forced Utah to call a timeout with 16:24 left in the half. Both teams were perfect form the field (8-8) through the games first four minutes.

Continue reading "The Fast and The Furious" »

Ten Til Tip

KINGSTON, R.I. - Just about 10 minutes from tip and the Ryan Center is starting to fill in a bit.

The locals haven’t quite embraced the Runnin’ Rams yet, but Rhody still draws fairly well, averaging 3,699 per home game. The Rams win 60 percent of the time in this building which opened four years ago. The Ram Dome holds 7,687.

. . . The Utah roster has a big international flavor with two Serbians, two Australians and a French native.

. . . The Hang Time Sign of the Day goes to the creative soul in the North end zone who has created a “Hit’em So They Can’t Seawright” poster in honor of Rhody sophomore Kahiem Seawright, the team‘s minutes (31.8 mpg) and rebounding leader (9.2 rpg).the game.

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The Next Bogut?

KINGSTON, R.I. - We’re about 45 minutes from tip at The Ram Dome, aka the Ryan Center and after watching Utah shoot around, beginning at about 12:45, we have but one conclusion: They grow ‘em big in Salt Lake.

With two seven-footers listed on the roster, it appears the Utes have about five who hover quite close to the 84-inch mark. We’re quite excited to see Luke Nevill, who Coach Giacoletti was raving about back at MWC media day. He was comparing Nevill quite favorably with former Ute, Andrew Bogut, the consensus National Player of the Year in 2004-2005 and Milwaukee‘s No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. Nevill shoots 70 percent form the field currently; Bogut, in his POY campaign shot 62 percent.

. . The first playing of the season’s anthem, “Show Me What You Got (Little Momma)” was played in pre-game at 12:54 EST. My Budweiser reflex kicked in almost immediately. That’s good marketing.

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Welcome to the Ryan Center

KINGSTON, R.I. - Welcome to the Ryan Center on the campus of the University of Rhode Island for today’s cross-country match up between the 5-4 URI Rams (Atlantic 10) and the 3-4 Utah Utes (Mountain West).

Be prepared for all manner of “U” usage as we unravel the 2 p.m. tip that will serve as both teams final game before a week off for finals.

Utah game notes can be here; and Rhody notes are here.

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October 26, 2006

MWC: Fresh Start

LAS VEGAS - We could re-hash the incident at Kansas that wound up leading to the place where J.R. Giddens now finds himself. We could get into the "he said," "they said" and the terse way Giddens' Jayhawk career ended. We could probably even Google the subject and find some loose ends and dangling participles from the circumstances that led to Giddens winding up in New Mexico for Ritchie McKay’s Lobos.

We could do all that and more, of course. Instead we're going to start with a smile. Specifically the smile on Giddens face during his time here in Vegas for MWC Media Day. With a mini Jordan show replica dangling from his necklace and red Lobos golf shirt, Giddens is ready to put all that other stuff behind him.

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MWC: Deep Breath

LAS VEGAS - It's been our experience that in the course of head-down, minute-by-minute blogging, we sometimes forget to sit back and observe all that's going on around us. Something about the forest for the trees or some other mixed metaphor that we never quite get right.

With that in mind, we now present, after the jump, a conglomeration of snippets from the past several hours of MWC immersion.

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October 25, 2006

MWC: Tales from the Green Room

LAS VEGAS – The men’s portion of the CSTV media slam is starting to wind down and we’ve been busy in the Green Room getting some sit-down time with three of the league’s premiere players: San Diego State’s senior guard Brandon Heath (the MWC’s reigning Player of the Year); UNLV’s senior guard Michael Umeh (coming back from a knee injury that cut short his 2005-06 season) and perhaps the league’s most intriguing player, New Mexico junior guard J.R. Giddens, a Kansas transfer who averaged 10.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in two seasons as a Jayhawk.

We’ll work on some featurettes on those three players for posting early on Thursday as an appetizer to the Live-Blogging we’ll be starting at 11 a.m. (EST) direct from the Aladdin’s Grand Ballroom where MWC Media Day is being held.

For now, we can report that MWC commissioner Craig Thompson is in the house and we’re planning on getting some time with the Commish on Thursday. We’re even in discussions to have Thompson – one of the nation’s most progressive league leaders – live-blog with Hang Time, much the way we did with Marshall Coach Ron Jirsa last week. We continue to push the envelope of blogdom, and we do it all for you, the valued reader.

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MWC: Media Slam TV Simulcast

LAS VEGAS – CSTV’s live coverage of the Mountain West Conference’s “Media Slam” is underway and Hang Time is with you from the Green Room off-set at media day headquarters, in the Aladdin Hotel.

Basically, here's how it works: You watch, we blog.

The MWC, you should know, is only the league in the country that has its CSTV preview show covering both the men’s and women’s teams – a full three hours of hoop heaven for MWC fans.

Several of the men’s players and coaches are trickling in and first up is Air Force and senior forward Jacob Burtschi with the Falcons’ assistant coach, Derrick Clark, filling in for head coach Jeff Bzdelik who had to tend to a family emergency.

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MWC: UNLV Practice, Take Two

LAS VEGAS - The utilization of the Coach's Son (Kevin Kruger) at the point guard position is nothing new at UNLV. Former coach Jerry Tarkanian had his son, All American, Danny, running things for the Rebels in the early 80s.

These days, Danny is looking to run a different kind of team, as he seeks Nevada's Secretary of State slot in the upcoming election, as a Republican. In the interest of equal time, his opponent is Democrat Ross Miller.

Hang Time is throwing its substantial support behind Tarkanian, but if his dad continues to blow us off during our visit, we'll be forced to reconsider.

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MWC: UNLV Practice

LAS VEGAS – With a few turns of the Hang Time Dodge Neon we easily arrived at Tarkanian Way on the UNLV campus and meandered into the Thomas & Mack/COX Pavilion parking lot.

We’re now live in the bowels of COX in the Runnin’ Rebels basement practice facility where Lon Kruger’s team is scrimmaging itself (Reds vs. Grays) with four referees (three at a time) calling fouls and giving a game feel and tempo to the proceedings.

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MWC: Rolling the Dice


LAS VEGAS – Hang Time has arrived in Las Vegas and we’ve yet to lose a dollar, which we’re taking as an encouraging sign.

The cross country trip was smooth and lady luck shone upon us immediately by leaving the center seat vacant on a 98-percent full flight. (We’re taking that as a sign of good things to come our way in Casino Land.)

We also took special notice of the occupant of First Class Seat 1C on Flight 67 from Boston – former Boston University and 1980 Team USA team member, Mike Eruzione. To re-cap – in the course of 10 minutes we had a Miracle on Ice sighting and, with our roomy seating arrangement for the five-hour flight, a Miracle in Air.

Anybody care for a Miracle at Aladdin’s blackjack tables?

Anyway, we’re here for college hoops, specifically the Mountain West Conference’s annual media day. Last season, the league placed two 24-win teams in the NCAA tournament with both Air Force and San Diego State suffering first round losses to Big Ten teams (Illinois and Indiana respectively). It looks like a two-bid league again this year, but the outside possibility exists that three MWC teams could wind up dancing.

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MWC: Voyaging to Vegas

SOMEWHERE IN THE AIR BETWEEN BOSTON AND LAS VEGAS – The tourism folks want you to believe “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Hang Time won’t allow that to be the case. Not for the Mountain West Conference basketball Media Extravaganza for which we are en route, on your behalf.

We touch down in Sin City around brunch time and are planning on checking in with Lon Kruger’s UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at their 2:30 (local time) practice.

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