UNLV vs Davidson
Photo Credit: UNLV Athletics

FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs Davidson – Game 4


UNLV Rebels (0-4) | Davidson Wildcats (2-2)


Runnin’ Rebels battle back but come up short in 77-73 loss to Davidson in the Maui Invitational


UNLV vs Davidson
Photo Credit: UNNLV Athletics

UNLV junior guards Bryce Hamilton and David Jenkins Jr. both scored season highs, and the Runnin’ Rebels fought back to cut their deficit to just two points late in the game. Still, the UNLV men’s basketball team came up short in a 77-73 loss to Davidson in the Maui Invitational finale Wednesday night at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Davidson (2-2) had four players score in double figures led by Kellan Grady’s 22 points and Hyunjung Lee’s 21 points. Davidson shot 56.5% in the first half (13 of 23) and finished the game at 48.9% (22 of 45). Hamilton tied his season high with 27 points, while Jenkins Jr. added 18 points for UNLV (0-4). Jenkins Jr. shot 4 of 8 on 3-pointers.


The Runnin’ Rebels got it going late but simply ran out of time. 


UNLV vs Davidson
Photo Credit: Mountain West Connection

After trailing by 14 points (51-37) with 13 minutes left in the game, the Runnin’ Rebels fought back to cut the deficit to just three points at 60-57 with five minutes to go, then cut it to two points later in the game. But time simply wasn’t on UNLV’s side. After two made free throws by Hamilton, the Runnin Rebels didn’t foul Davidson quick enough as six seconds ran off the clock. Davidson sank both free throws to make the final score 77-73.

UNLV improved their play for the third straight game, so all hope isn’t lost. Jenkins Jr. seemed to have found his stroke, and overall the team played with better rhythm and timing. If UNLV could get Jenkins Jr., Caleb Grill, and Hamilton hot at the same time, Runnin Rebels fans would be relieved. The Runnin Rebels defense needs to improve, but there are also signs of that happening as well.

After the game, UNLV head basketball coach TJ Otzelberger said,

“The players really wanted to win and were highly disappointed in that locker room. I know we’re getting better. I feel with each night out, there has been improvement. We’ve minimized some of the mistakes that caused us challenges each game. When we can put together 40 minutes with the tremendous sense of urgency we had down the stretch of that game, I know we’re going to be a really good team.

“We need to continue to look to go deeper into our bench and get more guys opportunities,” Otzelberger said. “As you’re building a program, you need young people to come into your program and pay their dues. They need to come into your program and earn it. It’s not good if they come in and they’re handed things, it’s good if they come in and earn those things.”


Game Notes:


  • The tournament was moved to the mainland because of the COVID-19 pandemic and was played with no fans in attendance.
  • Hamilton also dished out a game-high four assists and recorded two steals. He scored 11 of his points in the final 1:30 of the game.
  • Hamilton has scored in double figures in 23 straight games. This game marked his 12th-career 20-point scoring game.
  • UNLV shot 50% in the second half (15 of 30) after just 32.1% during the first 20 minutes (9 of 28).
  • Davidson shot 31 free throws to UNLV’s 18.
  • UNLV scored 19 points off of 13 Davidson turnovers, while Davidson scored nine points off of eight UNLV miscues.
  • Davidson out-rebounded UNLV 36-25.
  • Davidson led 41-29 at the half.
  • There were five lead changes and five ties throughout the game.
  • This marked the first meeting all-time between the two schools in men’s basketball.
  • This is UNLV’s fourth all-time Maui Invitational appearance, and the loss dropped the Runnin’ Rebels’ to 5-7 all-time in the event.
  • UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in an NCAA-record 1,106 straight games.


UNLV will travel to Manhattan, Kansas, to face Kansas State on Saturday, December 5, at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be shown live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, while the radio broadcast will be heard live on ESPN 1100 Las Vegas.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media


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