LAS VEGAS — After falling behind by 26 points late in the first half, Hawaii cut the deficit to single digits after the break. However, it wasn’t enough against No. 24 UNLV.
Anthony Bennett had 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks to lead the Rebels to a 77-63 victory against the Warriors on Saturday night.
Christian Standhardinger had 27 points to tie his career high and Vander Joaquim had 12 for Hawaii (4-2).
“We weren’t ready to come out in the first half,” Standhardinger said. “They ran all over us. In the second half, we showed some heart and some intensity.
The Warriors, who were down 49-27 at halftime, closed within eight points twice in the second half — the first at 61-53 with 6:03 remaining on two free throws by Joaquim.
Katin Reinhardt followed with a 3-pointer as UNLV (5-1) increased the lead back to double digits.
After another free throw by Joaquim, UNLV’s Justin Hawkins hit another 3 to make it 67-54 with 5:13 left. Joaquim hit the Warriors’ only 3-pointer to pull to 71-61 with 3:31 remaining and followed it up with two free throws to make it an eight-point game again with 2:58 left.
The Warriors didn’t score again.
They were missing 3-pointers, going 1 of 18 — including two that could have cut UNLV’s lead to five.
“When you go 1 of 18, you aren’t going to beat this team,” Hawaii coach Gib Arnold said. “I thought UNLV hit us in the first half. We were on our heels and they were playing inspired basketball. We took it to them in the second half. We didn’t rebound well and we didn’t drive well (in the first half).”
Standhardinger missed all four of his attempts from beyond the arc, finishing 9 for 24 from the field and 9 for 12 on free throws.
“I think from the penetration standpoint, I did a good job against (Mike) Moser and Bennett,” he said. “I need to improve my 3-point shot and mid-range shot.”
UNLV (5-1) shot 59 percent from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
“It was a total team effort, building the lead, and sharing the ball (in the first half),” said Rebels coach Dave Rice, whose team had 12 first-half assists. “We lost our intensity a little bit in the second half. I and the coaching staff have to figure out a way at halftime. I told the guys, let’s keep getting 22-point halftime leads.”
Savon Goodman added 13 points and seven rebounds for UNLV, which saw its lead trimmed to eight points with about 6 minutes remaining as the Rebels, who were 7 of 15 from 3-point range, were facing a zone again.
“We’ve got to do a better job against the zone,” Rice said. “It becomes more difficult when teams play zones with space.”
Joaquim also had nine rebounds for Hawaii, which had been off for 10 days.
Reinhardt and Moser each added 10 points for UNLV, which completed a six-game homestand. Reinhardt had seven assists, while Moser had three blocks, but injured his hip with 6:57 left after committing his fourth foul and did not return.
The Rebels outscored the Warriors 21-4 in fast-break points and 34-12 in bench points.
Besides two brief Hawaii leads early, the Rebels led throughout, jumping to advantages of 21-8 and their biggest at 49-23 with 48 seconds to go until halftime.
In the first half, the Warriors were 0 of 10 from 3-point range and 36 percent from the field.
Hawaii converted 20 of 26 from the free throw line, while the Rebels were 10 of 15.
UNLV leads the all-time series 23-9, including a 74-69 win in Hawaii last Dec. 31.
This was the last UNLV game at the Thomas & Mack Center for 18 days and four contests due to the annual National Rodeo Finals. The next three of four games are outside Las Vegas, starting at Portland on Tuesday. Rice said the team’s medical staff will determine whether Moser will play in that contest.