After a thrilling buzzer-beating 92-90 overtime win last Saturday vs. BYU at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the UNLV men’s basketball team (5-4) will head to Hawaii to compete in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, which begins Saturday, Dec. 22.
The Runnin’ Rebels will open tournament play against host Hawaii (6-4) at 12 p.m. HT/2 p.m. PT at the Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) on the UH campus in Honolulu. UNLV will then face either Colorado (8-1) or Indiana State (6-3) on Sunday, Dec. 23. The tournament will conclude with a third game on Tuesday, Dec. 25 against Bucknell (4-4), Charlotte (3-5), Rhode Island (5-3) or TCU (8-1).
Saturday will mark the first meeting between UNLV and Hawaii in men’s basketball since 2012 and the first in Hawaii since 2011.
UNLV is led in scoring by senior guard Kris Clyburn’s 12.3 ppg. Sophomore guard Amauri Hardy is second in scoring with 11.6 ppg, while senior forward Shakur Juiston is third in scoring (10.8 ppg) and leads the team in rebounding (8.8 rpg), but is currently out with a knee injury. Sophomore forward Mbacke Diong leads the team and is second in the Mountain West in blocks (1.9 bpg), while senior guard Noah Robotham is the team’s assists leader (3.4 apg).
Hawaii has won two straight games and is led in scoring by Eddie Stansberry (11.8 ppg). The Rainbow Warriors are coming off wins against Hawaii-Hilo (82-75) and Mississippi Valley State (76-51). Jack Purchase is the team’s rebounding leader (6.4 rpg) and Drew Buggs leads in assists (5.4 apg).
Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein and LaPhonso Ellis 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).