A rivalry will be renewed on Saturday, Dec. 15, when the UNLV men’s basketball team (4-4) faces BYU (8-4) in the Neon Hoops Showcase, benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at 5:30 p.m. The game is the first of a doubleheader with LSU vs. Saint Mary’s to follow.
Saturday will mark the first meeting between UNLV and BYU in men’s basketball since 2011 when the Cougars were also members of the Mountain West. Tickets for the Neon Hoops Showcase may be purchased at RunninRebelsOnTheStrip.com.
UNLV had won four straight games from Nov. 13-23, but have now lost their last three. The Runnin’ Rebels are coming off a 77-74 defeat at Illinois last Saturday, which was also their first road game of the year. Prior to that, UNLV dropped a 65-61 decision to Cincinnati on Dec. 1, which closed its season-opening seven-game homestand. The National Finals Rodeo is currently occupying the Thomas & Mack Center and UNLV will go 31 days between home games.
UNLV is led in scoring by senior guard Kris Clyburn’s 11.3 ppg. Senior forward Shakur Juiston is second in scoring (10.8 ppg) and leads the team in rebounding (8.8 rpg). Sophomore guard Amauri Hardy is also averaging double figures in scoring at 10.4 ppg. Sophomore forward Mbacke Diong leads the team and league in blocks (2.1 bpg), while senior guard Noah Robotham is the team’s assists leader (3.4 apg).
BYU has won three straight games and is led in scoring by Yoeli Childs (22.8 ppg). The Cougars are coming off wins against Utah State (95-80), vs. Utah (74-59) and against Portland State (85-66). Childs also leads the team in rebounds (10.9 rpg), while TJ Haws is the team’s assist leader (5.1 apg).
Saturday’s game will be shown on ESPN3 with Eric Rothman and Sean Farnham calling the action. Jon Sandler, former Runnin’ Rebel Robert Smith, and Steve Cofield (sideline reporter) will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 AM and online via the UNLV Gameday App and TuneIn (link at UNLVRebels.com).