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FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs Pepperdine – Game 3

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (2-1) | Pepperdine Waves (3-2)

Franchise Sports Media


UNLV traveled down to Malibu to take on the Pepperdine Waves. The Runnin’ Rebels came away with an 82-68 victory.

On Friday, it was UNLV vs Pepperdine at the Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, California.

UNLV vs Pepperdine | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels hit the road after two home games to start this season to embark on their first road trip of this year.

Friday night, they headed down to Malibu, California, for the first time since 2004 to take on the Pepperdine Waves.

Last Saturday, UNLV defeated Stenson, 71–55. Jaylen Hill recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Luis Rodriguez was the leading scorer with 15 points. DJ Thomas Jr. had a game-high nine assists with no turnovers to help lead the Runnin’ Rebels to victory. 

Pepperdine started the 20 23–24 season with a 3-1 record, which includes wins at home over Concordia Irvine, Lafayette, and LIU. Their loan loss this year came on the road to UC Davis, where they lost 79–78. Pepperdine is led by Houston Mallette, Michael Ajayi, and Jevon Porter. 

Could UNLV start their first road trip of the year out right, or would Pepperdine send them on their way with sand in their shorts? It was time to find out.

UNLV vs Pepperdine saw the Runnin’ Rebels win their first road game.

The Runnin’ Rebels got their first road win of the year, led by the freshman sensation DJ Thomas Jr.  

UNLV vs Pepperdine was an outstanding performance by UNLV.

UNLV vs Pepperdine | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Firestone Fieldhouse is not an easy place to play. It’s small and usually packed with Pepperdine fans who are incredibly enthusiastic, loud, rowdy, and ready for opponents when they head to Malibu. Friday night, UNLV wanted to shut up the crowd early when they took on the Waves for the first road test of the year.

The team with the nation’s longest consecutive game-made three-point streak started off hot early, making their first three three-pointers to jump out to an early lead. Pepperdine did their best to keep UNLV within a 10-point radius and got as close as six points in the second half, but just couldn’t get closer at any point. 

The Runnin’ Rebels controlled the game and its entirety. It was also the best they’ve looked early on in the season. The Runnin’ Rebels went into the half with a 40-30 lead. 

UNLV shot 58.2% from the field on the night, 40% from three-point land, and 92.3% from the free-throw line. They also scored 18 points off turnovers and 50 points in the paint, using their size to dominate the smaller Pepperdine team.

It was a breakout game for the freshman sensation DJ Thomas Jr., who finished it with 17 points, five assists, and no turnovers. This is the second straight game that Thomas had no turnovers. The freshman point guard has shown early on that he has more than lived up to the hype as being the nation’s best point guard and crown jewel after he re-classified to the Runnin’ Rebels ‘23 recruiting class. 

On the night, Kalib Boone led the way for the Runnin’ Rebels with a team-high 19 points. Jalen Hill had 15 points, Jackie Johnson had 13 points, and Luis Rodriguez chipped in 15 points as well for UNLV in their blowout win over Pepperdine. 


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

UNLV vs Pepperdine final score 82-68, Runnin’ Rebels.

UNLV will now travel down to Daytona Beach, Florida, to compete at the Sunshine Slam on Monday, Nov. 20th and Tuesday, Nov. 21st. 


– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @JoeArrigoFSM

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