RUNNIN’ REBELS AT SAN JOSÉ STATE WEDNESDAY
7 p.m. game may be seen on ESPN3
The UNLV men’s basketball team, which has won two straight games, three of its last four and 10 of its last 13, will travel to San José, Calif., to face Mountain West-newcomer San José State on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. It will be the Runnin’ Rebels’ first meeting with the Spartans since 1997 and the only one this year during the regular season. UNLV is coming off two straight home wins – 62-42 over Utah State last Wednesday and 75-73 in overtime over Fresno State on Saturday.
Prior to its recent homestand, UNLV recorded a split in arguably its toughest road trip of the season: a 76-73 win at New Mexico on Jan. 15 at The Pit, and a 63-52 loss on Jan. 18 at No. 5 San Diego State.
Wednesday’s game at San José State will be shown on ESPN3 with Trey Bender and Bill Herenda calling the action. Jon Sandler and Robert Smith will handle the radio call, which may be heard on ESPN Radio 1100/98.9 FM. The watch and radio broadcast listen links, along with Gametracker, are available at UNLVRebels.com.
After six straight games at home to open the season, UNLV played two road games during its “Rodeo Road Trip,” losing a close one at No. 1 Arizona (63-58) on Dec. 7, then beating Southern Utah on Dec. 14 in Cedar City, which started a seven-game win streak. In the loss to the Wildcats, the Runnin’ Rebels held what is now the nation’s top-ranked team to its second-lowest scoring output of the season and its fourth-closest game in terms of margin of victory.
Roscoe Smith, who leads the nation in rebounding average with 12.2 rpg, is second in the country in double-doubles with 13. He had just one in two seasons at UConn. Smith grabbed 10 or more rebounds in the first six games of the season (now 15 of 20) with totals of 19, 21 and a career-high 22. Khem Birch, who has nine double-doubles this season (18th in the nation), is fourth in the country in blocked shots with 3.6 per contest. He has had double-figure rebounding totals in 10 games and has blocked at least four shots in a game 10 times this season. Bryce Dejean-Jones leads the team in scoring with 14.4 ppg (seventh in Mountain West play at 17.7 ppg), while Smith (12.0 ppg, 12.2 rpg) is second on the team in scoring and is averaging a double-double. Birch is just shy of averaging a double-double (11.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and is third on the team in scoring. Kevin Olekaibe is the fourth Runnin’ Rebel in double figures with 10.2 ppg.
UNLV (13-7, 4-3 Mountain West)
SAN JOSÉ STATE (6-14, 0-8 Mountain West)
DATE: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
TIME: 7 p.m. PST
SITE: The Event Center (5,000), San José, Calif.
TV: ESPN3 (Trey Bender, Bill Herenda)
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM (Jon Sandler, Robert Smith)
ONLINE: Radio (audio) & Gametracker at UNLVRebels.com