RUNNIN’ REBELS COME BACK TO DEFEAT FRESNO STATE, 68-67
Caleb Grill’s four 3-pointers and game-high 18 points helped UNLV come back from 16 down Friday night at the Thomas & Mack Center
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The UNLV men’s basketball team came back from 16 points down to defeat Fresno State 68-67 in the two-game Mountain West series finale Friday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
UNLV (11-12, 8-8) was led by Caleb Grill’s game-high 18 points. He was 6 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 7 on 3-pointers. Bryce Hamilton added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Moses Wood scored 10 and David Jenkins Jr. contributed eight points with a game-high-tying five assists with no turnovers.
Fresno State (10-10, 8-10) had four players in double-figure scoring, led by Junior Ballard’s 17 points on 5 of 7 3-pointers.
STAT OF THE GAME: After Fresno State shot 57.1% on 3-pointers in the first half (8 of 14), UNLV limited the Bulldogs to just 28.6% in the second half (2 of 7).
HOT AT HOME: It was UNLV’s eighth win in its last 10 games at the Thomas & Mack Center.
ONE-POINT WINS: UNLV is 3-1 against Fresno State over the last two years, with each Runnin’ Rebel victory coming by just one point.
SURVIVED AT THE END: Fresno State’s Anthony Holland shot a 3-pointer at the buzzer, which was off the mark, and the Rebels held on to earn the series split.
QUOTABLE: “We knew it was going to be another hard-fought game. I am proud of our guys. Coming out that second half we talked about energy, enthusiasm and passion. Mbacke (Diong)’s steal and dunk really got us going. I felt like down the stretch, even though we still weren’t perfect, it was as together as we’ve been as a team and I could tell in the huddle and as we communicated that the guys felt good about how they were playing together. Hopefully that’s something we can continue to build on as we move forward.” – UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger
– UNLV trailed by 16 (36-20) with five minutes left in the first half and by 15 (40-25) with 2:30 until halftime. The Runnin’ Rebels closed the first half on a 7-0 run, then opened the second half on a 12-5 spurt to trail by just one (45-44) with 16 minutes to go.
– UNLV shot 56.0% (14 of 25) from the field in the second half.
– Grill also recorded a game-high-tying three steals.
– Fresno State went to the free-throw line 11 more times than UNLV and outscored the Runnin’ Rebels 15-6 in free throws.
– There were a total of 15 lead changes and seven ties throughout the game.
– UNLV led in points in the paint 32-18 and bench scoring 14-7.
– UNLV improved to 18-6 all-time against Fresno State at home.
– UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,125 straight games.
NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will remain in Las Vegas next week for its final regular-season home game as it hosts No. 22/25 San Diego State on Wednesday, March 3 at 6 p.m. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network and may be heard on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.