64 - 48 Final
  for this game

UNLV hands Illinois its first loss

Dec 18, 2011 - 1:06 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Mike Moser finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and a staunch defensive effort helped UNLV upend No. 19 Illinois, 64-48, at the United Center.

The Rebels (11-2) earned the victory even with a sub-standard performance by leading scorer Chace Stanback, who finished with only two points and didn't make a field goal.

Quintrell Thomas helped fill the void by scoring 13 points, and UNLV came away with its second consecutive victory.

The Fighting Illini (10-1) suffered their first loss of the season after shooting just 25.4 percent. D.J. Richardson had 19 points, but no other Illinois player scored in double-figures.

The game was close for most of the first half, but UNLV took control when Illinois' offense almost completely disappeared at the end of the period. The Illini held a 20-19 edge after Richardson made a three-pointer with just under seven minutes to go, but scored just two points the rest of the way.

The Rebels took advantage. Anthony Marshall's three made it a 26-20 contest with just more than three minutes left, and after Illinois' Crandall Head followed with a dunk, UNLV ended the half on a seven-point burst.

Oscar Bellfield made two free throws with a minute left to end the run, and the Rebels went into the break with a 33-22 advantage.

Illinois never caught up, scoring just four points in the first five-plus minutes of the second half.

Again, UNLV took advantage -- while its offense wasn't perfect, it was effective enough. Approaching the midway point of the half, Kendall Wallace sank a three and Moser made a layup for a 46-31 advantage.

The Illini cut their deficit to single digits late in the game, and were within 54-46 when Meyers Leonard dunked with 4 1/2 minutes left. But like the end of the first half, Illinois' offense suddenly disappeared.

It scored only two more points, on a Richardson jumper in the final minute.

Game Notes

UNLV shot 44 percent and made 17-of-20 free throws...Illinois sank only 9- of-18 foul shots...UNLV had not beaten Illinois in three previous meetings. The teams last played each other last March in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.