RUNNIN’ REBELS HOST AIR FORCE IN MW HOME OPENER
UNLV men’s basketball looks to extend win streak to eight games as it plays at 7 p.m. at
the Thomas & Mack Center
The UNLV men’s basketball team, which has won seven straight games – all by at least 13 points and by an average of 20.2 ppg – will open the home portion of its Mountain West schedule on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. against Air Force at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Runnin’ Rebels are coming off a 75-62 win at Fresno State on Wednesday, which opened the conference season. Junior guard Bryce Dejean-Jones scored a career-high 24 points in that contest, while junior forwards Khem Birch (14 points, 17 rebounds) and Roscoe Smith (13 points, 12 rebounds) each had double-doubles.
Saturday’s game vs. the Falcons will be televised on Cox 96 Las Vegas with Josh Suchon and Brad Holland calling the action. Jon Sandler and Robert Smith will handle the radio call, which may be heard on ESPN Radio 1100/98.9 FM. Streaming video (available outside of Las Vegas), a radio broadcast listen link and Gametracker will be 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 then-No. 2 Arizona (63-58) on Dec. 7, then beating Southern Utah on Dec. 14 in Cedar City, which started its current 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 third-closest game in terms of margin of victory.
Roscoe Smith, who leads the nation in rebounding average with 13.1 rpg, is tied for first in the country in double-doubles with 10. He had just one in two seasons at UConn. Smith grabbed 10 or more rebounds in the first six games of the season (now 12 of 14) with totals of 19, 21 and a career-high 22. Birch, who has seven double-doubles this season, is seventh in the country in blocked shots with 3.8 per contest. He has had double-figure rebounding totals in eight of his 14 games and has blocked at least four shots in a game seven times this season. Dejean-Jones leads the team in scoring with 13.4 ppg, while Smith (13.1 ppg, 13.1 rpg) is second on the team in scoring and is averaging a double-double. Birch is just shy of averaging a double-double (11.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg). Senior guard Kevin Olekaibe is the fourth Runnin’ Rebel in double figures at 10.8 ppg.
AIR FORCE (7-5, 1-0 Mountain West)
UNLV (10-4, 1-0 Mountain West)
DATE: Saturday, January 4, 2014
TIME: 7 p.m. PST
SITE: Tarkanian Court, Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas
TV: Cox 96 Las Vegas (Josh Suchon, Brad Holland)
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM (Jon Sandler, Robert Smith)
ONLINE: Video (outside of LV), radio (audio) & Gametracker at UNLVRebels.com