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Nevada (11-8) at UNLV (16-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 29, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: CNSCSN. Home Record: Nevada 9-3, UNLV 12-1. Away Record: Nevada 2-5, UNLV 4-3. Neutral Record: Nevada 0-0, UNLV 0-0. Conference Record: Nevada 2-3, UNLV 3-2. Series Record: UNLV leads, 54-19.
GAME NOTES: A battle for bragging rights in the Silver State plays out at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday night as the UNLV Runnin' Rebels contend with the Nevada Wolf Pack in their first-ever meeting as Mountain West Conference foes.
Nevada, which has come over to the MWC from the Western Athletic Conference like a number of programs, has stumbled a bit out of the gate in terms of the league slate, winning just two of five outings. However, the Pack did post a 75-59 win over Boise State on Saturday, giving the team two victories in the last three contests overall.
As for the Runnin' Rebels, they had been a nationally-ranked program earlier in the season, but in the last eight games the team has been defeated three times. However, since the latest setback to Colorado State on the road back on Jan. 19, the team has rebounded with a 62-50 victory over Wyoming at home last Thursday night.
Now a part of the Governor's Series, a formal head-to-head athletic and academic challenge between these two schools, this is the first men's basketball game to be played as part of this new competition. However, the history on the hardwood goes back a long way as UNLV enters this meeting with a 54-19 advantage in the all-time series.
The Rebels have won six straight meetings, the last of those being a 71-67 triumph in Sin City last year. The most recent victory for Nevada came in 2005 by a score of 68-61 in Las Vegas as well.
With the Nevada offense having some struggles in recent weeks, it was good to see Deonte Burton and Malik Story both step up in the same game as they tallied 17 and 16 points, respectively, in the victory over Boise State Saturday afternoon in Reno. Also scoring in double figures for the Pack were Jerry Evans and Devonte Elliott with 12 and 11 points, respectively, the latter adding a team-best eight rebounds in just 16 minutes off the bench.
Through five conference outings, Burton is leading the offensive charge with 19.0 ppg, shooting an even 50 percent from the floor. Story checks in with 13.2 ppg, while Evans (9.6 ppg) takes the lead in the paint with close to eight boards per contest. However, the team as a whole is shooting just 37.9 percent from the field and 25.8 percent behind the 3-point line in league bouts.
Once again, having Mike Moser and Anthony Bennett along the front line against Wyoming didn't really pay dividends for both performers, but the team ended up in the win column nonetheless. Bennett responded with 17 points, but just five rebounds, while Moser accounted for five points and three boards in 19 minutes of action. Quintrell Thomas stepped up with 13 points and five boards off the bench, followed by Anthony Marshall, who nearly logged a double-double with his 12 points and game-high nine assists. A bit shaky in the early going, UNLV fell behind 8-0 in the opening minutes before holding the visitors to just 3- of-16 shooting beyond the arc. Bennett continues to be the go-to guy for the Runnin' Rebels through 20 contests, pacing the group with both 18.4 ppg and 8.6 rpg, but with the return of Moser from injury, the pair are still trying to figure out how to coexist in the paint. Marshall, the only other double- digit scorer (10.4 ppg) is responsible for 119 assists and only 59 turnovers.
If Moser comes out flat for the game on Tuesday night that will open the door for the Wolf Pack to make things interesting. However, as long as Bennett has his way in the paint it might not matter.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UNLV 69, Nevada 61
01/29 10:38:53 ET
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