unlv basketball:

Oscar Bellfield has been a steady hand during his four years at UNLV


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV’s Oscar Bellfield, Brice Massamba and Mike Moser celebrate a play against Central Arkansas during their game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011 at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV scored their most points since the 1990-91 season in beating Central Arkansas 124-75.

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 (9:30 p.m.)

The only thing that has changed about Oscar Bellfield during his four years as a Rebel is an accessory.

Under first-year coach Dave Rice, Bellfield — and fellow senior Brice Massamba — decided to add a headband to his game-day outfit. Besides that, Bellfield is still the reliable, pencil-him-in-the-lineup point guard he’s been for the bulk of his career.

Today will be his 109th consecutive start, a streak that started Feb. 7, 2009. This year he leads the team in minutes (31.9 per game), proving he knows how to start and finish contests.

“You’ve really got to earn your spot, and that’s what I did, just played hard and got the opportunity,” he said.

More than any other player, Bellfield is the name teammates say most often when asked about leadership. He probably won’t be remembered for spectacular plays throughout his career. But whatever Bellfield lacks in dazzle, he more than makes up for in consistency.

Thanks to all those starts and time on the court, Bellfield will finish his career near the top of several statistical categories. He has 203 career 3-pointers and could finish as high as No. 3 all-time (Wink Adams, 208). His 554 assists rank him fifth in school history. He has led the team in that category each of the past four seasons, and he’s just 10 assists away from tying New Mexico’s Dairese Gary for the all-time Mountain West lead.

Throw in his 1,191 points, which is 23rd in school history and just five points behind Stanback, and it’s hard to call his career anything but a success.

“The first thing that comes to mind with Oscar Bellfield is he’s a winner,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “We can talk about all the great things he does in terms of skills, but he just is committed to winning and has been a good leader for us.”

Still, one thing remains: the NCAA Tournament. Bellfield said he would trade all of his career stats for a run through this year’s bracket. He has his focus not just on his first tournament victory, but a few of them.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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