UNLV vs Pepperdine
Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

2021 UNLV vs. Colorado State – Game 6

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UNLV (1-4) vs. Colorado State (6-2)

 

After a rare holiday break during the basketball season, UNLV is back in action as they travel to play Colorado State, and searching for win No. 2.

 

UNLV vs Pepperdine
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Runnin’ Rebels will play their first game in over a month when they travel to play the Colorado State Rams on Thursday and Saturday in Fort Collins. UNLV hasn’t played a game since their first win of the season against Big 12 opponent Kansas State on Dec. 5.

While UNLV got a convincing 68-58 victory over a Power Five foe, the MWC rival Rams present a much different challenge – one that is capable of winning in one-sided fashion on the floor.

The Rams are not only 6-2 overall, but own three conference wins already: Two double-digit romps of Fresno State (75-53 and 81-59) and the narrow 70-67 road upset of San Diego State, who last year breezed through a 30-2 start before COVID-19 ended everyone’s season.

 

The Runnin’ Rebels coming off a long rest will look to upset the Rams.

 

UNLV vs Pepperdine
Photo Credit: UNLV Athletics/Russell Luna

UNLV star Bryce Hamilton finished off the season strong last year and has continued that into this season. He has been the best player for the Runnin’ Rebels in all five games so far this season; averaging 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists per game. Guards Caleb Grill and David Jenkins Jr. are the only other players for UNLV averaging more than 10 points, with both of them averaging 13.

The Runnin’ Rebels have offensive options, but defense has been the struggle early on for UNLV. The one highlight from this unit was surrendering 58 to KSU, including holding one player (Mike McGuirl) to double digit scoring at 17. David Jenkins Jr. had 25 points and seven made three-pointers leading the way for UNLV in the win. However, in all four of the Rebs’ losses, UNLV allowed 77 points or more. Opponents have averaged 78 points per game against the Rebs, with Montana State representing the team that put up the most points against UNLV in the 91-78 Bobcat win.

While the Rams knocked off SDSU in the first meeting, Colorado State is coming off a loss to the Aztecs in the subsequent contest. The Rams are the polar opposite of the Rebels through eight games: Thriving on strong defensive play. They’ve had five games this season when they hold the opposition below 60 points, going 4-1 in those matchups.

Offensively for the Rams, they have been led by guard David Roddy who is averaging 15 points per game and nine rebounds a night, which is team leading in both categories. Isaiah Stevens and Kendle Moore have both been efficient to start the season, both averaging over 10 points per game and shooting over 45 percent from the field.

 

Runnin’ Rebel basketball is back and safe as they look to win their second straight.

 

UNLV vs Pepperdine
Photo Credit: UNLV Athletics/Russell Luna

It has obviously been a long time since the Runnin’ Rebels players played in a game. In fact, the Rams have played all eight of their games since the last time the Runnin’ Rebels took the court. UNLV is the last team to play their first conference game as the Runnin’ Rebels look to come in and upset the Colorado State Rams on Thursday and Saturday.

Many teams in the Mountain West Conference have gotten off to fast starts. UNLV will look to catch up to those teams starting with a win on Thursday.

 

The UNLV Rebels will play at the Colorado State Rams on Thursday at 5:00 on CBSSN.

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-Jarret Thompson – Franchise Sports Media

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