NORMAL, Ill. -- UNLV is one of those teams that doesn't mind playing away from home.
The Rebels (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) showed it Wednesday night when sophomore guard Anthony Marshall scored 16 points to help them remain undefeated with an 82-51 victory over Illinois State.
"Defensively, we started slow, but we picked it up in the second half," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "For a road game, I thought we played consistently from start to finish. We were a pretty good road team last year and most of those players are back this year."
The Rebels led by 17 points at halftime and cruised in the second half, holding the Redbirds to 36 percent shooting from the field. The Rebels have held opponents to 35 percent shooting this season. Their man-to-man pressure defense forced Illinois State into 16 turnovers.
The Rebels were 5 of 19 from beyond the 3-point line, while Illinois State went 4 of 24.
"They had some good looks, particularly in the first half," Kruger said. "But they missed them. They are a young team and I suspect that played into it."
Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich said he thought his team played a pretty good first half, and will likely take away something useful from the loss.
"We looked great the first three minutes," he said. "But really, our kids just haven't seen a team like this. They are a very good team. And a game like this helps our young guys, because it gives them a chance to play against some of the best."
"I think we're going to be all right from here on," Hill said. "This is just a learning experience for us. That's all."
The game was part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.
The Redbirds haven't played UNLV since 1978 and have now lost 21 straight against ranked opponents since 1987.