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UNLV MEN’S BASKETBALL NEWS: No. 19/21 San Diego State Visits For Regular-Season Home Finale

  1. 19/21 SAN DIEGO STATE VISITS FOR REGULAR-SEASON HOME FINALE

 

UNLV has won eight of last 10 at Thomas & Mack Center, Mbacke Diong to be honored pregame on Senior Night

 

The UNLV men’s basketball team, coming off a home split against Fresno State and winner of eight of its last 10 games at the Thomas & Mack Center, will host No. 19/21 San Diego State in its regular-season home finale on Wednesday, March 3. The game will begin at 6 p.m. and be televised by CBS Sports Network.

Senior forward Mbacke Diong will be honored pregame for his four years as a Runnin’ Rebel in what could be the final regular-season home game of his collegiate career. The NCAA has granted student-athletes an opportunity to continue their playing career due to the pandemic.

UNLV is 5-3 in its last eight outings, recording a home sweep over Air Force on February 6 and 8, falling twice at Boise State on February 11 and 13 before two wins at SJSU on February 19 and 21 and the split against the Bulldogs on Feb. 24 and 26. In their last two losses, the Runnin’ Rebels have fallen by a combined of five points with a chance to win or tie on the last possession.

Because of COVID-19 issues, the Runnin’ Rebels went 33 days without a game before playing at Colorado State on January 7 for its first MW series of the season. However, since resuming play, UNLV has played a total of 18 games in a 50-day span.

Coming off a tie for second place in the Mountain West standings last season, UNLV has had an entirely new look this year as 10 of its 13 scholarship players had yet to play in a game for the Runnin’ Rebels as the 2020-21 season began.

UNLV’s returners included Diong, and junior guards Marvin Coleman and Bryce Hamilton. It was announced on January 16 that Coleman would miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his right leg. Other returners from last year’s roster include junior transfer guard David Jenkins Jr., sophomore transfer forward Moses Wood, and walk-on junior guard Trey Hurlburt. Of the nine newcomers added to this year’s roster, seven are freshmen.

Hamilton was the team’s leading scorer last season. The Runnin’ Rebels’ first First-Team All-Mountain West recipient in seven seasons, he averaged 16.0 points per game as a sophomore. Diong led UNLV in rebounding at 7.9 per contest as a junior. Hamilton was also named a Preseason All-MW honoree in November, while Jenkins Jr. was selected as the league’s Preseason Newcomer of the Year and freshman guard Nick Blake was named the conference’s Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Hamilton is the team’s leading scorer this season and is second in the MW at 18.5 ppg. He became the 40th Runnin’ Rebel to eclipse the career 1,000-point mark and he now has scored 1,016 in a Runnin’ Rebel uniform over his three years at UNLV. He missed a couple games this season with an ankle injury, but returned on Feb. 6 vs. Air Force. He also leads in assists with 3.2 apg (8th in MW), steals with 1.4 spg (6th in MW) and field-goal percentage at .430 (10th in MW). Diong is the team’s rebounding leader (8.0 rpg, 4th in MW). Jenkins Jr., is also averaging in double figures in scoring with 14.4 ppg (14th in MW), is second in the MW in 3-point percentage (.409) and third in 3-pointers made (2.7 per game).

San Diego State is 19-4 overall this season and 13-3 in MW play. The Aztecs have won 10 straight games, including a home sweep over Boise State in their most recent outings Feb. 25 and 27. The team is led in scoring by Matt Mitchell with 15.2 ppg, rebounding by Nathan Mensah (6.3 rpg) and assists by Trey Pulliam (3.2 apg).

Wednesday’s television announcers will be Jason Horowitz and Chris Walker. 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. All streaming links and live stats are available at  UNLVRebels.com.

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UNLV MEN'S BASKETBALL NEWS: No. 19/21 San Diego State Visits For Regular-Season Home Finale