NCAA BK

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 - 8:00 PM ET
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Chace Stanback figures to return to UNLV's lineup this weekend. Coming off the bench didn't hurt him his last time out.

Stanback will try to lead the No. 19 Rebels to a sixth straight win Saturday on the road, where they seek to end Hawaii's three-game win streak.

With Stanback returning to the team late after a holiday break and arriving late to Monday's practice, coach Dave Rice opted to start Justin Hawkins over the 6-foot-8 senior Wednesday.

The move didn't affect Stanback, who made his first six 3-pointers and 9 of 11 overall to match a career high with 29 points as UNLV (14-2) cruised to a 124-75 win over Central Arkansas.

"I feel like I'm shooting the ball pretty well, my teammates are finding me a lot in transition and throughout the offense and I am just able to knock 'em down," said Stanback, who is 41 of 82 on 3s this season.

The Rebels shot a season-high 67.1 percent, placing seven players in double figures.

Point guard Oscar Bellfield was not among that group - missing his only two shots - but did hand out seven assists in 22 minutes.

"Oscar is such a team guy that it really doesn't matter to him," Rice said. "The great thing about Oscar is that he's a winner, he's the guy that holds our whole team together and he understands what's needed in every game and the last thing in his mind is scoring the basketball."

UNLV figures to get a bigger test against Hawaii (8-5), which has won six of seven. The Rainbows also enter off a strong offensive performance, reaching the century mark for the first time in over nine years in Thursday's 100-73 rout of South Carolina State.

"We've got a big challenge," Rice said. "Hawaii's playing good basketball, a balanced team. It will take a great team effort to win a game on the island on Saturday."

The Rainbows shook off a sluggish first half by shooting 57.1 percent after the break to outscore the Bulldogs 59-31 over the final 20 minutes. Nine different players logged at least 16 minutes for Hawaii.

"I was pleased with how the guys followed the game plan and really happy with that second half that we were able to get everybody in," coach Gib Arnold said. "(And) we played an exciting style of basketball. There were a lot of guys that stepped up today."

Hauns Brereton led Hawaii with a career-high 22 points off the bench. Joston Thomas had 16 and 10 boards in 20 minutes for his second career double-double.

The Rebels are wary of their opponents, and are also hoping to minimize the effects of the journey to Hawaii.

"You need to get over there a day early and then be there and get acclimated and then we're going to leave right after the game and come back and ring in the new year here in Las Vegas," Rice said.

UNLV leads the all-time series, 21-9 with three straight wins. The Rebels won 77-53 in the last meeting Dec. 23, 2009, with Bellfield and Stanback combining for 17 points.

Tagged: Rice, Hawaii, UNLV, Oscar Bellfield, Chace Stanback

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