No matter where UNLV has played this season, the Runnin’ Rebels have won. And on Saturday, they’ll play in the third straight different venue in their own area, seeking to go 10-0 on the season.
UNLV faces Washington State (4-4) of the Pac-12 in the first game of the Las Vegas Clash, a two-game event featuring those two teams, as well as No. 10 Arizona vs. No. 14 Indiana, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
UNLV is coming off a 77-62 win over Hawaii at the Dollar Loan Center in suburban Henderson on Wednesday night. Luis Rodriguez, a transfer from Ole Miss, scored a team-high 18 points in the win.
Karl Jones scored 20 points to lead UNLV to a 126-54 win over Life Pacific on Nov. 26 at the Rebels’ home arena, the Thomas & Mack Center.
UNLV is 9-0 for the first time in 12 seasons.
“Overall, the guys did what they’ve been doing. Did a great job of guarding people, creating a little bit of a cushion in the first half which ended up becoming the difference in the game,” UNLV head coach Kevin Kruger said. “That’s become their M.O. — a relentless defensive presence in the first half.”
Washington State is coming off a 68-47 win over Northern Kentucky on Wednesday at home in Pullman, Wash. Prior to that, the Cougars lost in overtime to Utah, 67-65, marking a second straight loss to open the conference schedule.
TJ Bamba, the Cougars’ leading scorer this season at 16.2 points per game, scored 22 points and Mouhamed Gueye added 14 points and 10 rebounds against Northern Kentucky.
Washington State and UNLV will be facing each other for the second time. Their only meeting came Dec. 17, 1973, with UNLV winning 58-47.
“Two games in a row I think our effort’s been great,” Washington State head coach Kyle Smith said. “The attitude is pretty good. … We’re not healthy. We don’t have as much shooting, but we’re maybe a little more athletic, a little better defensively. If we can get it all together, hopefully we can be good on both sides of the ball.”
–Field Level Media