Rebels head north for two games in Reno

UNLV Sports

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LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – After completing its recent six-game homestand with a 5-1 mark, the UNLV men’s basketball team will head north to Reno, Nevada, for a two-game Mountain West series scheduled for Sunday, January 31 and Tuesday, February 2. Sunday’s contest is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., while the series finale on Tuesday will tip at 6 p.m. The games are part of the Silver State Series presented by IBEW and Nevada Donor Network.

UNLV’s five wins in its last six outings consisted of a five-game win streak with home victories over Saint Katherine, New Mexico twice, Benedictine Mesa and Utah State before falling on Wednesday to the Aggies in the second game of that series.

Because of COVID-19 issues, the Runnin’ Rebels went 33 days without a game before playing at Colorado State on January 7 for its first MW series of the season. However, since resuming play, UNLV has played a total of eight games in a 20-day span.

Coming off a tie for second place in the Mountain West standings last season, UNLV has an entirely new look this year as 10 of its 13 scholarship players had yet to play in a game for the Runnin’ Rebels as the 2020-21 season began.

UNLV’s returners included senior forward Mbacke Diong, and junior guards Marvin Coleman and Bryce Hamilton. It was announced on January 16 that Coleman would miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his right leg. Other returners from last year’s roster include junior transfer guard David Jenkins Jr., sophomore transfer forward Moses Wood, and walk-on junior guard Trey Hurlburt. Of the nine newcomers added to this year’s roster, seven are freshmen.

Hamilton was the team’s leading scorer last season. The Runnin’ Rebels’ first First-Team All-Mountain West recipient in seven seasons, he averaged 16.0 points per game as a sophomore. Diong led UNLV in rebounding at 7.9 per contest as a junior. Hamilton was also named a Preseason All-MW honoree in November, while Jenkins Jr. was selected as the league’s Preseason Newcomer of the Year and freshman guard Nick Blake was named the conference’s Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Hamilton is the team’s leading scorer this season and is third in the MW at 18.3 ppg, however he has been limited recently with an ankle injury. He also leads in assists with 3.7 apg (5th in MW), steals with 1.8 spg (2nd in MW) and field-goal percentage at .422 (11th in MW). Diong is the team’s rebounding leader (8.6 rpg, 4th in MW). Jenkins Jr., is also averaging in double figures in scoring with 15.9 ppg, is first in the MW in 3-pointers made (2.9 per game) and is second in 3-point percentage (.422).

UNR is 10-7 overall this season and 5-5 in MW play. The Wolf Pack are coming off two straight losses at Wyoming last Friday and Sunday. Grant Sherfield leads the team in scoring at 18.5 ppg (2nd in MW) and assists with 5.5 apg (2nd in MW), while Zane Meeks (5.9) and Warren Washington (5.8) are the team’s leading rebounders.

Sunday’s game will be televised by FS1 with Daron Sutton and Doug Gottlieb calling the action, while Tuesday’s contest will be on CBS Sports Network with Carter Blackburn and Avery Johnson). Jon Sandler and former Runnin’ Rebel Curtis Terry will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas. All streaming links and live stats are available at UNLVRebels.com.

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