Runnin’ Rebels At No. 1 Seed Seton Hall Wednesday In NIT Quarterfinal



7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT game will be televised nationally on ESPN2, winner advances to semifinals in Indianapolis


The UNLV men’s basketball team, which is 12-3 in its last 15 games, recorded its first postseason victory in 16 years and is coming off a second-round National Invitation Tournament win over Boston College, will play at No. 1 seed Seton Hall in the NIT’s quarterfinal round on Wednesday, March 27 at Walsh Gymnasium. The 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.


LAST TIME OUT: After winning its first-round game at No. 2 seed Princeton (84-77) last Wednesday, UNLV (21-12) defeated Boston College at home (79-70) Sunday night in the NIT’s second round. The Runnin’ Rebels, who are making their first postseason appearance in 11 years, had four players score in double figures. They were led by fifth-year senior Keylan Boone’s 19 points and eight rebounds, while freshman Dedan Thomas Jr. had 17 points and five assists. Keylan Boone made five 3-pointers and also blocked three shots, while fifth-year senior Kalib Boone returned from an ankle injury, adding 16 points and six rebounds, fifth-year senior Justin Webster scored 12 points with four assists, and junior Rob Whaley Jr. dished out five assists and had two steals. UNLV remarkably turned the ball over just one time in the game, while recording 17 assists.


RUNNIN’ REBEL LEADERS: Five UNLV players are averaging double figures in scoring this season: Dedan Thomas Jr. (13.9 ppg), who earned Mountain West Co-Freshman of the Year and second-team All-MW honors, Keylan Boone (12.9 ppg), who was named third team All-MW, fifth-year senior Kalib Boone (11.3 ppg), who was honorable mention All-MW, fifth-year senior Luis Rodriguez (10.7 ppg), who was named to the All-MW Defensive Team, and fifth-year senior Jalen Hill (10.7 ppg). Keylan Boone leads the team in rebounds (6.8 rpg, 8th in MW), Thomas Jr. is the assists leader (5.2 apg, 6th in MW, 43rd in nation), Kalib Boone leads in blocks (1.7 bpg, 2nd in MW) and Rodriguez leads in steals (1.6 spg, 2nd in MW). Hill missed six games with a wrist injury and returned at San Diego State on Jan. 6, but left late in the first half in that game after suffering a knee injury, which an MRI later revealed to be a season-ending ACL tear. Rodriguez has missed the last two games, attending to a family matter.


ABOUT THE ROSTER: This season’s UNLV squad features seven returners from last year’s team along with seven newcomers. The newcomers are made up of three Division I transfers, a junior college transfer and three freshmen. UNLV has 10 upperclassmen, including five fifth-year seniors. A total of four players on the roster are playing in their hometown of Las Vegas. The Runnin’ Rebels returned two starters in Luis Rodriguez and Justin Webster, who averaged 10.7 and 8.2 points per game last season, respectively. Rodriguez led last season’s team in rebounding (5.7 rpg).


ABOUT THE OPPONENT: Seton Hall (22-12) finished fourth in the 11-team Big East Conference this season with a 13-7 league mark. The Pirates enter Wednesday’s game having won four of their last five games. Seton Hall defeated Saint Joseph’s (75-72) in overtime in the NIT’s first round on March 20, then beat North Texas (72-58) in the second round on Saturday. Both games were at home. Three Seton Hall players are averaging double figures in scoring: Kadary Richmond (15.6 ppg), Dre Davis (14.8 ppg) and Al-Amir Dawes (14.4 ppg). Jaden Bediako leads the team in rebounding (7.0 rpg)and blocks (1.6 bpg), while Richmond also leads the team in assists (5.0 apg) and steals (2.1 spg). Richmond was named All-Big East First Team this season. The Pirates are 16-3 in home games this season, including wins over top-10 teams UConn and Marquette, and a triple-overtime loss to Creighton. Seton Hall ranks 32nd in the country in blocks per game (4.7) and 38th in rebound margin (5.0). Bediako is 16th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.6), while Richmond is 30th in steals per game. Seton Hall went 17-16 overall and finished tied for sixth in the Big East at 10-10 last season, falling in the first round of the NIT at Colorado to end its season. Led by head coach Shaheen Holloway, Seton Hall has just six upperclassmen on its 16-man roster.


BROADCAST INFO: Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Derek Jones and Perry Clark calling the action. Jon Sandler and former Runnin’ Rebel Curtis Terry will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas and worldwide on SiriusXM 380. All streaming links and live stats are available at and through the UNLV Rebels App.

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Runnin' Rebels At No. 1 Seed Seton Hall Wednesday In NIT Quarterfinal
Runnin' Rebels At No. 1 Seed Seton Hall Wednesday In NIT Quarterfinal