UNLV vs UNR Jordan McCabe

FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs Colorado State – Game 22

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (15-7 / 4-6) | Colorado State Rams (10-13 / 2-8)

Franchise Sports Media


The Runnin’ Rebels are now on a three-game winning streak after defeating the Colorado State Rams 83-71, improving to 4-6 in MWC play


UNLV vs Colorado State
Photo Credit Kyla LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Luis Rodriguez made his return after he missed the last two games due to injury. Rodriguez warmed up before UNLV’s game on Saturday but did not play. Fifth-year guard Jordan McCabe did not warm up with the team, he wasn’t wearing a brace, and he didn’t go down with a major injury against UNR. It may have been more precautionary with the team’s top reserve guard.

UNLV’s starting lineup at Colorado State was Keshon Gilbert, Justin Webster, E.J. Harkless, Eli Parquet, and Victor Iwuakor. A much smaller lineup than usual, though with some of the injuries that have happened, packaged with the system that Kevin Kruger wants to run, this may have been the best look Kruger could’ve come up with.

The first five minutes of the game were high-paced, as with the return of Parquet, UNLV had been able to return to their high-energy defense. The Rebels poured the pressure on early, forcing two turnovers and taking a 10-8 lead with 14:27 left in the first half.

Shane Nowell continued his strong stretch as he confidently rose above the defender and sank a three. It’s been a delight to see some of the benchwarmers earn their way into the rotation, though circumstances played in their favor. Nevertheless, it’s a positive for UNLV either way. Especially with Keyshawn Hall splashing home a three, the Rebels obtained a 10-point lead off the backs of their bench squad.

Parquet seemed to take a hit in the upper body area, and play was immediately stopped as it also seemed that EP was bleeding. Though nothing came of it, and play resumed as normal. However, UNLV may have used that as a chance to draw up a play, as Harkless shot and made a clean look from the charity stripe.

Nowell’s confidence seemed to have maxed out after he made another three, though David Muoka is another player that needed a boost. After he tipped back in a bucket, it gave him a sigh of relief, but for someone like him, he’ll need to do much more than putbacks to give Kruger huge value.

With 3:07 left in the first half, the Rebels held a 31-25 lead. Webster, who had an impressive showing last time out, struggled in this one as so far he was 0-5 from the field and 0-3 from three. Despite that, it’s just normal for players who are pure shooters. You’ve got to live with the lows just as much as you live with the highs.


At halftime, the score read UNLV 39, Colorado State 30. Gilbert got an inbound pass and just walked into a three from the top of the key, which was Gilbert’s third triple of the game; he led all scorers with 11 points.


UNLV vs Colorado State
Photo Credit: Shantalle Demirjian/Franchise Sports Media

Entering the second half, UNLV started on a 5-0 run, stunning and shunning the home team’s crowd on the road. Harkless showed that he can score off the ball as well, as he received the ball after making a clean cut to the hoop and flushed it through with two hands.

With 11:57 left in regulation, the Rebels had a 19-point lead at 60-41. UNLV held CSU to 40% (12-30) from the field and 30% (3-10) from three. With the rest of the team clicking, Webster regained his touch as after starting the game 0-5, he was 3-3 since then.

Hall’s confidence remained unquestioned as he knocked down a three with a defender in his face. Harkless had no problem scoring, as he shook his defender off and drove right on by for an easy layup inside. Colorado State kept their spirits high, though, and continued to work hard. However, sometimes hard work isn’t enough, as Webster scored through contact and earned an and-1 opportunity.

Despite that, the Rams were still able to cut the Rebels’ lead down to 15. Colorado State increased their defensive pressure and forced a turnover from Parquet. Due to that turnover, Isaiah Rivera capitalized with a three, further cutting down UNLV’s lead to 12. The Rebels had trouble getting through CSU’s press break, as Harkless was forced into a turnover, where he threw an errant pass that was intercepted.

Harkless nearly threw away another ball, but luckily UNLV retained possession. Harkless just seemed like he wanted none of CSU’s press. On the defensive end, Iwuakor played too aggressively, and he fouled Isaiah Stevens, who was in his shooting motion, and he made the bucket. 

With 1:38 left in regulation, UNLV held a shaky eight-point lead at 75-67. Harkless got bailed out of another potential turnover as the referee called a foul. Webster was also bailed out from a backcourt call as his foot passed the halfcourt line. CSU fans were irate, as were the announcers, but they were still down by 11. Their chances of winning were still slim, regardless.

CSU must’ve still believed that they could win, as they fouled Rodriguez and Parquet, sending them to the line despite still being down 10. At this point, they were just prolonging the game. The final score read UNLV 83, CSU 71. With three straight wins, UNLV is now 4-6 in MWC and a half-game out of sixth place.


Runnin’ Takeaways


UNLV vs Colorado State
Photo Credit Kyla LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Harkless totaled 17 points (6-12 FGs, 1-4 3FGs), five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.  Gilbert added 16 points (6-8 FGs, 4-6 3FGs), five rebounds, and two steals. Hall and Rodriguez combined for 21 points, while the latter added six rebounds and two steals. Webster with 11 points (4-10 FGs, 1-5 3FGs), three rebounds, and three assists.

Parquet and Gilbert did a nice job of limiting Stevens, as he totaled 18 points (5-11 FGs) and seven assists. Rivera had 17 points (1-4 3FGs) and seven boards. John Tonje had 17 points (5-12 FGs) and seven rebounds. Patrick Cartier had 17 points and eight rebounds. 

Harkless, after the game, was asked about UNLV’s reserve unit, which combined to score 33 points off the bench. He told reporters, “Man, they be killing us in practice some days. To come in and give us that lift off the bench, that was excellent. On the road, that’s really tough to do.”


Don’t forget to go out and support the Runnin’ RebelsClick here to get your UNLV Runnin’ Rebels tickets! 


The Runnin’ Rebels will now take on Fresno State Friday, February 3rd, at 8:00 pm PT. The game will be available on FS1.

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-Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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