RUNNIN’ REBELS HOST UTAH STATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT 8 PM IN REGULAR-SEASON HOME FINALE
Four seniors to be honored pregame – will also be $2 Beer Night, 2,000 free T-shirts to be given away, 500 rally towels for students, Rebel Fest pregame tailgate and fans encouraged to wear white
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The UNLV men’s basketball team (17-11 overall, 6-10 Mountain West) will host Utah State on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. The game will mark the final regular-season home contest for the Runnin’ Rebels and four UNLV seniors will be honored pregame for Senior Night.
PROMOTIONS: In addition to the Senior Night festivities recognizing Cameron Burist, EJ Harkless, Jordan McCabe and Elijah Parquet happening just before pregame introductions, it will also be $2 Beer Night ($2 Miller Lite available through halftime) and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free Senior Day white T-shirt sponsored by Valley Bank of Nevada. The first 500 students in attendance will receive a free rally towel sponsored by Toyota and the Rebel Fest pregame tailgate will also take place with free Raising Cane’s for students, and will also include a live DJ and inflatables.
LAST TIME OUT: In their last game, which was Friday night at home against Air Force, the Runnin’ Rebels pulled out a nailbiter. Trailing by a point with under 10 seconds to play, Jackie Johnson III stole Air Force’s inbound pass and after Keshon Gilbert missed a contested layup, Harkless grabbed the offensive rebound and made the putback with 1.8 seconds to play, giving the Runnin’ Rebels a 54-53 victory. Harkless led all scorers with 23 points and had a team-high seven rebounds to pace UNLV, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Harkless scored 19 of his points in the second half.
THIS SEASON: Harkless leads the team in scoring with 18.4 ppg (2nd in MW) and is contributing 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game (6th in MW). Gilbert is second in scoring at 12.1 ppg with a team-leading 3.3 apg and 1.9 spg (3rd in MW). Luis Rodriguez is third in scoring with 11.2 ppg, while leading the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg). He is tied for second on the squad in steals (1.9 spg, 2nd in MW). David Muoka is third on the team in rebounding (4.6 rpg) and leads the squad in blocks with 1.5 bpg (3rd in MW).
This season’s Runnin’ Rebel squad features six returners and nine newcomers, including six transfers from the Division I level. The 15-man roster is made up of 10 upperclassmen.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: Utah State (22-7, 11-5) has won three straight games and six of its last eight. Its current streak consists of wins over Air Force (80-65) at home on Feb. 14, UNR (75-66) at home on Feb. 18 and at Wyoming (65-55) last Tuesday. USU is 5-4 in true road games this season. Utah State is led in scoring by Steven Ashworth (15.9 ppg, 7th in MW) and Taylor Funk (13.2 ppg). Dan Akin leads the team in rebounding (7.1 rpg, 5th in MW), while Ashworth leads in assists (4.5 apg, 5th in MW) and 3-point percentage (.447, 1st in MW). The Aggies lead the conference and are second in the country in 3-point field-goal percentage at 40.0, while they are 10th in the country in effective field-goal percentage (.564), 12th in assists (16.7 per game), 23rd in assist/turnover ratio (1.41), 24th in free-throw percentage (76.5) and 30th in field-goal percentage (47.8). Last season, USU was 18-16 overall and finished seventh in the MW with an 8-10 league mark. The Aggies lost at home in the first round of the NIT to Oregon to end their season. This season’s team was picked to finish eighth out of 11 in the MW’s preseason poll. Utah State’s 15-man roster includes 11 upperclassmen. The Aggies are coached by Ryan Odom who is in his second season at the school with a record of 39-23 (.629) and is in his ninth year as a collegiate head coach with a career mark of 165-104 (.613).
LAST MEETING: In the last meeting between UNLV and Utah State, which occurred in Logan, Utah, on Jan. 17, the Runnin’ Rebels came back from nine down at halftime and held a 69-68 lead with 2:30 remaining in the game, but a couple of key baskets by the Aggies gave them a 75-71 win. UNLV freshman Keyshawn Hall played in the first Mountain West game of his career and led the team with a career-high 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line. McCabe added a season-high 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers, and Gilbert contributed 14 points on 6 of 12 from the field. Utah State was led by Taylor Funk who scored all 20 of his points in the first half. Steven Ashworth added 14, while Trevin Dorius had 10. UNLV held the one-point lead when Ashworth’s 3-pointer put the Aggies back in front, 71-69, with one minute to play. An offensive foul was called on Hall and after a timeout with two seconds left on the shot clock, Sean Bairstow made a free-throw line jumper to give Utah State a 73-69 advantage with 23 seconds left. Hall made two free throws with 16 seconds to go, but that was as close as the Runnin’ Rebels would come.
TICKETS: UNLV men’s basketball’s ticket pricing has been adjusted for the 2022-23 season, with affordability and family-friendly value at the forefront of the changes. Tickets may be purchased online at UNLVtickets.com, on the phone by calling 702-739-FANS (3267) or in person at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office.
BROADCAST INFO: Wednesday’s game will be televised on CBS Sports Network with Alex Del Barrio and Tim Doyle calling the action. Jon Sandler, former Runnin’ Rebel Curtis Terry and Steve Cofield (sidelines) will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas. All streaming links and live stats will be available at UNLVRebels.com and through the UNLV Rebels App.