Illinois, which entered this matchup with UNLV undefeated, couldn't find any offensive rhythm in the opening half and trails 33-22. The Fighting Illini shot only 8/26 from the field as a team and committed nine turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
UNLV used a balanced offensive attack to grab the early lead. Quintrell Thomas led all scorers in the opening half with seven points on 3/4 shooting from the field. Brice Massamba chipped in with six points for the Runnin' Rebels. Six other guys scored at least three points for UNLV in the opening half.
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