Game Recap: Runnin Rebels vs Boise State

Runnin’ Rebels (17-14, 12-6) | Boise State Broncos (19-11, 11-7)


UNLV’s season ends in a hard-fought loss to Boise State, 67-61.


runnin rebels vs boise state
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

It was once again sophomore guard Bryce Hamilton who led the way for the Runnin’ Rebels with 24 points and grabbing six rebounds. Despite scoring the game-high, Hamilton struggled early, only scoring eight points at the half. The majority of his points came down the stretch of the game. He shot 7-22 (31.8%) from the floor, including 4-6 (66%) from three and 6-8 (75%) from the free-throw line.

Junior guard Amauri Hardy scored 14 points on 4-12 (33%) shooting from the field and 1-6 (16%) from beyond the arc. Junior guard Jonah Antonio had perhaps his best game of the season, contributing 13 points and grabbing nine rebounds. He was 4-9 (44%) on three-point attempts, including some miraculous shots that fueled a late-game comeback attempt.


For the Broncos, it was senior forward RJ Williams who led the team with a double-double performance of 23 points and 15 rebounds.


Williams shot 7-12 (58.3%) from the floor and was able to draw nine fouls, leading to him shooting 9-13 (69.2%) from the charity stripe. Not only did he provide the points, but he also brought the energy and attitude for Boise State throughout the entire game. Williams was continually battling for rebounds aggressively, which led to him picking up a technical foul halfway through the second half.

Runnin Rebels vs Boise State
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste – Franchise Sports Media

Senior guard Justinian Jessup scored 19 points on 5-11 (45%) shooting. Jessup shot some very clutch three-pointers [3-6 (50%)] and free throws (a perfect 6-6) late in the game to put the dagger in the Rebels’ comeback attempt. Junior guard Derrick Alston Jr. also contributed with a double-double performance of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Alston Jr. shot 6-17 (35.2%) from the field and 4-6 (66%) from the free-throw line. He also picked up a technical foul late in the first half after getting in the face of Marvin Coleman after a two-handed dunk.

Going into this game, UNLV was riding high on a five-game winning streak. One of those wins was over the undefeated and fourth-ranked San Diego State on the road. Another of those wins was at home over this exact Boise State team. The buzz of the city was starting to revolve around their beloved Runnin’ Rebels again as the calendar turned to March and a first-round bye in the home-court advantage conference tournament.


At the start of the season, the Rebels were predicted to finish in sixth place in the conference. They ended the regular season tied for second place, landing them with the fourth seed in the conference tournament and a matchup against the fifth seed Broncos.



runnin rebels vs boise state - runnin rebels vs san diego state
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

All signs were pointing up until it was announced that senior guard Elijah Mitrou-Long was not going to be able to play. Since returning from his left broken thumb injury that sidelined him for 12 games, Mitrou-Long has been a key contributor for the Rebels in their late-season winning streak. UNLV’s efforts weren’t enough without one of their co-captains on the floor with them.

His presence was missed as the Runnin’ Rebels saw their March Madness dreams fall apart on their home floor. They finish the season at 17-15, but the future does look bright for the storied program as head coach TJ Otzelberger will be bringing in the highest-rated recruiting class in the conference next season.


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-Isaiah Torres – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24

MWC Postgame: Head Coach TJ Otzelber, Bryce Hamilton, and Marvin Coleman

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Runnin' Rebels vs Boise State| MWC Tournament Photos

Photography by Terrance Quaites and Trisha LaCoste