RUNNIN’ REBELS HOST NEVADA, RENO WEDNESDAY
Governor’s Series game will tip at 6:15 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center
The UNLV men’s basketball team, which had its seven-game win streak snapped on Saturday at home against Air Force (75-68), will host Nevada, Reno, on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 6:15 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game is part of the Governor’s Series, presented by NV Energy, which is a head-to-head athletic and academic challenge between UNLV and UNR. The winner of the season series in men’s basketball will earn three points toward the final score. UNLV leads this year’s Governor’s Series 9-3 and won last year’s inaugural series by a final score of 37.5-10.5.
Wednesday’s game vs. the Wolf Pack will be televised on CBS Sports Network with Rich Waltz, Doug Gottlieb and Lauren Gardner calling the action. Jon Sandler and Robert Smith will handle the radio call, which may be heard on ESPN Radio 1100/98.9 FM. 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 the 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 12.7 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 15) with totals of 19, 21 and a career-high 22. Birch, who has seven double-doubles this season, is sixth in the country in blocked shots with 3.8 per contest. He has had double-figure rebounding totals in eight of his 15 games and has blocked at least four shots in a game eight times this season. Dejean-Jones leads the team in scoring with 14.4 ppg (2nd in Mountain West play at 26.0 ppg), while Smith (12.5 ppg, 12.7 rpg) is second on the team in scoring and is averaging a double-double. Birch is just shy of averaging a double-double (11.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg). Senior guard Kevin Olekaibe is the fourth Runnin’ Rebel in double figures at 10.9 ppg.
NEVADA, RENO (7-8, 2-0 Mountain West)
UNLV (10-5, 1-1 Mountain West)
DATE: Wednesday, January 8, 2014
TIME: 6:15 p.m. PST
SITE: Tarkanian Court, Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas
TV: CBS Sports Network (Rich Waltz, Doug Gottlieb, Lauren Gardner)
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM (Jon Sandler, Robert Smith)
ONLINE: Radio (audio) & Gametracker at UNLVRebels.com