Dec. 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's basketball team, which has won its last two games and is in the midst of playing four contests in a six-day span, will continue play in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic by hosting Sacred Heart on Friday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. The tournament consists of two home games before the semifinal and championship rounds (Sunday-Monday, Dec. 22-23) are played at Orleans Arena. The Runnin' Rebels will face Santa Clara on Sunday, and then either Mississippi State or South Florida on Monday.
Friday's game vs. the Pioneers will have no television coverage, but it will be live video streamed for free at UNLVRebels.com (MWN) with Tony Cordasco calling the action. Jon Sandler and Robert Smith will handle the radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM. An internet listen link and Gametracker will also 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 (73-51) on Saturday in Cedar City. In the loss to the Wildcats, the Runnin' Rebels held what is now the nation's top-ranked team to its lowest scoring output of the season and its third-closest game in terms of margin of victory. On Wednesday, UNLV returned home to the Thomas & Mack Center for the first time in 18 days and defeated Radford (81-62).
Runnin' Rebel junior Roscoe Smith, who leads the nation in rebounding average with 13.9 rpg, has six double-doubles this year and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in the first six games of the season (now eight of nine) with totals of 19, 21 and a career-high 22. Junior forward Khem Birch, who has five double-doubles this season, is fourth in the country in blocked shots with 4.3 per contest. He has had double-figure rebounding totals in six of his nine games and has blocked at least four shots in a game six times this season. Smith (12.3 ppg, 13.9 rpg) leads the team in scoring and is averaging a double-double, while Birch just misses averaging a double-double (11.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg). Junior guard Bryce Dejean-Jones is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 ppg, while senior guard Kevin Olekaibe is the other Runnin' Rebel averaging double figures with 11.0 ppg.
SACRED HEART (2-9, 0-0 Northeast)
UNLV (5-4, 0-0 Mountain West)
DATE: Friday, December 20, 2013
TIME: 7 p.m. PST
SITE: Tarkanian Court, Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas
TV: Live Stream at UNLVRebels.com (MWN - Tony Cordasco)
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM (Jon Sandler, Robert Smith)
ONLINE: Live Stream (UNLVRebels.com - MWN), Gametracker at UNLVRebels.com
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