UNLV tops Virginia Tech 71-59
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Chace Stanback had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead UNLV to a 71-59 victory over Virginia Tech in the 76 Classic’s championship game Sunday night.
Stanback was voted the tournament’s most outstanding player.
“Clearly, Chace was deserving of the award,” UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. “He’s making shots, which you expect him to do, but he’s also covering (defensively) and he’s getting more and more active on the boards.”
Quintrell Thomas and Tre’Von Willis scored 14 points apiece for the Rebels (6-0). Anthony Marshall added 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.
“We worked for this,” said Stanback, a junior transfer from UCLA.
Malcolm Delaney had a season-high 30 points for the Hokies (4-2). Terrell Bell added 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
“We needed more guys contributing,” said Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg, who added that poor free-throw shooting and Jeff Allen’s absence made a difference.
Allen, the Hokies’ leading rebounder (8.6) and third-leading scorer (11.4), fouled out with 6 minutes to play. Allen finished with nine points and six rebounds.
“We can’t play like that,” Greenberg said. “If we’re not 9 for 21 at the free-throw line and Jeff has a chance to play at the end of the game, maybe we’re in better shape.”
Virginia Tech led 10-2 before UNLV rallied to move ahead 31-21 with 5:43 left in the first half. The Rebels’ backcourt pressure resulted in 11 points off turnovers during the surge, which Stanback led with nine points.
“Our guys have been able to be disruptive,” Kruger said. “Meeting the ball in the backcourt is when we’re in our comfort zone. We’ve done a good job of taking teams out of what they run.”
Greenberg said his team played into UNLV’s pressure.
“It’s not that tough; we made it tough,” Greenberg said. “We had some guys in there who didn’t want to work hard enough to get open.”
Virginia Tech narrowed the deficit to two at 43-41 with 16:19 to play but the Rebels used a 14-6 run to build a 57-47 lead with 8:28 remaining. UNLV led by 13 points.
UNLV forced 18 turnovers, scored 24 points off of them and outscored the Hokies 34-14 in the lane.