RUNNIN’ REBELS TO TRAVEL TO COLORADO STATE FOR TUESDAY GAME
UNLV looking for third straight win; 6 p.m. PT game will be broadcast on Mountain West Network
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The UNLV men’s basketball team (14-7 overall, 3-6 Mountain West), which has won two straight games, will head back out on the road to take on Colorado State on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. MT/.6 p.m. PT at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colorado.
LAST TIME OUT: In front of the season’s biggest crowd, the Runnin’ Rebels defeated their intrastate rival UNR 68-62 Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. EJ Harkless scored a game-high 18 points and Justin Webster added a season-high 17. Webster made five 3-pointers, while Harkless filled the stat sheet with a season-high-tying and team-high nine rebounds, five assists and two steals. It was UNLV’s third straight win over the Wolf Pack.
THIS SEASON: Harkless leads the team in scoring with 17.0 ppg (3rd in MW) and is contributing 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists (10th in MW) and 1.5 steals per game (9th in MW). Luis Rodriguez, who has missed the last two games because of injury, is second in scoring with 12.1 ppg, while leading the team in both rebounding (5.7 rpg) and steals (2.2 spg, 2nd in MW, 28th in the country). Keshon Gilbert is third in scoring at 12.0 ppg with a team-leading 3.7 apg (7th in MW) and 2.1 spg (3rd in MW, 36th in the country). David Muoka is third on the team in rebounding (4.7 rpg) and leads the squad in blocks with 1.4 bpg (4th 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: Since beating UNLV on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas by a point, Colorado State (10-12, 2-7) has lost three straight games: vs. San Diego State (82-76), at Wyoming (58-57) and at Boise State (80-59). CSU is 7-4 in home games this season. The Rams have three players averaging in double figures led by Isaiah Stevens (18.5 ppg). He has only played in 15 games as he was out with an injury at the beginning of the season. The others are John Tonje (13.0 ppg) and Patrick Cartier (12.9 ppg). Tonje is the team’s leading rebounder (5.0 rpg), while Stevens leads in assists (6.5 apg). Cartier is the conference’s leader in field-goal percentage (.646, 11th in the nation). The Rams lead the conference in assists (17.82 per game, 6th in nation) and assist/turnover ratio (1.61, 6th in nation), and are second in field-goal percentage (.487, 16th in nation) and fourth in 3-point shooting (.364). Last season, CSU was 25-6 overall and finished second in the MW with a 14-4 league mark. The Rams lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Michigan, 75-63 and David Roddy was selected as the No. 23 overall pick in the NBA Draft. This season’s team was picked to finish fourth out of 11 in the MW’s preseason poll with Stevens being named to the Preseason All-Conference Team. CSU’s 16-man roster includes 11 upperclassmen. The Rams are coached by Niko Medved, who is in his fifth year at the school with a record of 87-58 (.600) and in his 10th year overall as a collegiate head coach with a career mark of 166-145 (.534).
LAST MEETING: In the teams’ last meeting on Jan. 14 at the Thomas & Mack Center, UNLV suffered a heartbreaking defeat in overtime, 82-81. The Runnin’ Rebels held a four-point lead with eight seconds left in regulation and another four-point advantage with 35 seconds left in OT. CSU’s Isaiah Stevens was the hero as he hit multiple 3-pointers late in each period to give the Rams the victory. EJ Harkless scored 26 of his career-high 33 points after halftime, while Justin Webster added 15 points and Luis Rodriguez contributed 12.
BROADCAST INFO: Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network. 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.