Dec. 27, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's basketball team, which has won five straight games - all by at least 16 points and by an average of 22.0 ppg - will close out its non-conference schedule on Saturday, Dec. 28 vs. Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Runnin' Rebels are coming off playing in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, where they won the championship at Orleans Arena on Monday with an 82-66 victory over Mississippi State.
Saturday's game vs. the Titans will be televised on Cox 96 Las Vegas with Steve Quis and Brad Holland calling the action. The telecast will also be streamed online at UNLVRebels.com via the Mountain West Network (available outside of Las Vegas). 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 is also 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 Dec. 14 in Cedar City, which started its current five-game win streak. 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 Dec. 18, UNLV returned home to the Thomas & Mack Center for the first time in 18 days and defeated Radford (81-62), then beat Sacred Heart (82-50) on Dec. 20, before heading over the the Orleans where it scored a season-high 92 points in a win against Santa Clara (92-71) on Sunday before facing Mississippi State.
Runnin' Rebel junior Roscoe Smith, who leads the nation in rebounding average with 13.1 rpg, was named this week's MW Player of the Week. He has eight double-doubles this year and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in the first six games of the season (now 10 of 12) with totals of 19, 21 and a career-high 22. Junior forward Khem Birch, who has five 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 six of his 12 games and has blocked at least four shots in a game six times this season as well. Smith (12.8 ppg, 13.1 rpg) leads the team in scoring and is averaging a double-double, while Birch just misses averaging a double-double (11.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg). Junior guard Bryce Dejean-Jones is second on the team in scoring at 11.9 ppg, while senior guard Kevin Olekaibe is the fourth Runnin' Rebel in double figures at 10.5 ppg.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (5-7, 0-0 Big West)
UNLV (8-4, 0-0 Mountain West)
DATE: Saturday, December 28, 2013
TIME: 7 p.m. PST
SITE: Tarkanian Court, Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas
TV: Cox 96 Las Vegas (Steve Quis, 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
CLICK HERE FOR FULL VERSION OF GAME NOTES (PDF)