Recap: UNLV Runnin Rebels vs Boise State

Runnin’ Rebels (8-9, 3-1) | Boise State Broncos (11-6, 3-2)


UNLV saw their four-game winning streak come to an end after losing to Boise State 73-66.


In their first road game in over a month, the Runnin’ Rebels suffered their first conference loss of the season after starting 3-0 in Mountain West Conference play for only the second time in program history.

After being named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week, sophomore guard Bryce Hamilton led UNLV in scoring with 19 points while also grabbing seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Marvin Coleman also scored in double figures with 12 points, going 4-6 (66%) from the field and 1-3 (33%) from beyond the arc. Junior guard and team co-captain Amauri Hardy also contributed 10 points, while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out four assists.

For the Broncos, it was redshirt junior guard Derrick Alston Jr. who led the way with a game-high double-double performance of 26 points and ten rebounds. Alston Jr., along with three other players scored in double-figures for Boise State. Senior guard Justinian Jessup scored 18 points while going 5-8 (62%) from the floor and 5-6 (83%) from behind the arc. Junior forward Abu Kigab had 12 points while shooting 2-3 (66%) and knocking down 7-10 (70%) from the free-throw line. Senior forward RJ Williams also recorded a double-double performance with 11 points and ten rebounds.


The Runnin’ Rebels struggled to score throughout the whole game. They shot 6-25 (24%) from the three point line and 23-61 (37.7%) combined from the field.


UNLV was once again without senior guard Elijah Mitrou-Long. The team’s other co-captain missed his eighth straight game due to a broken left thumb. Mitrou-Long was averaging 12.9 points per game before his injury. “There were key plays on the glass and effort and energy plays that we have been making the last couple of games that in key moments we didn’t have tonight and that caused us to come up short,” said Runnin’ Rebels head coach TJ Otzelberger. 

During their winning streak, junior forward Mbacke Diong was scoring in double figures and even recorded a few double-doubles. Although he did manage to match his season-high of 4 blocks in this game, he was held down to finish the game with 6 points on 2-4 (50%) shooting.

Now with playing another road conference game under their belt in experience, UNLV will look to bounce back and return to .500 in another road game against Wyoming, 5-12 (0-5). The Cowboys are way under .500 and have yet to win a game in conference play, but the Runnin’ Rebels know not to overlook any team after suffering two home losses to Texas State and Pacific earlier this season.

Like Coach Otzelberger mentioned in that postgame quote, UNLV will have put more effort back into getting those hustle plays that helped spark their wins in their past four games. The team is now 1-1 in road conference games, so it is tough to tell how they will play the remainder of the season on the road. Perhaps this next game can give us an idea of how the rest of the season might go. If they manage to lose to Wyoming, it can be another long, tough season for the Runnin’ Rebels.

If they are able to bounce back with a win, then they will return to .500 and split their road trip at 1-1. After the Wyoming game, they will return home to play two straight home games against San Jose State and New Mexico. We will now have to wait and see how they react on Saturday to their first loss in five games.


UNLV will play against Wyoming on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 4pm. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 AM.


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Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24


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