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FSM Recap: UNLV vs San Diego State – Game 29- 2023

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (19-10 / 12-5) | San Diego State Aztecs (22-8 / 11-6)

 

It was UNLV vs San Diego State on Tuesday evening at the Thomas & Mack Center. On senior night, the Runnin’ Rebels took on #21 San Diego State and never trailed in a 62-58 upset win over the Aztecs.

 

UNLV vs San Diego State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

On senior night, the UNLV men’s basketball team won its fifth straight game and tenth in its last eleven outings with a 62-58 victory over #21 San Diego State on Tuesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The win marked the  Runnin’ Rebelsfifth-straight victory and 10th in their last 11 games. It was also the team’s fourth win of the season against a ranked opponent, marking the first time UNLV has defeated four top-25 teams in a single campaign since 2012-13.

Dedan Thomas Jr. broke a 58-58 tie, nailing a deep step-back jumper with 18 seconds left, and then sealed the game with two free throws with 6.5 seconds to play.
Thomas Jr. led all scorers with 19 points, also adding three rebounds and three assists, while KeylanBoone recorded his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. He made a game-high four 3-pointers, had a career-high-tying four blocks, tallied a team-high four assists, and recorded two steals.
 
The Aztecs had four players score in double figures, led by Elijah Saunders‘ 14 points. The Runnin’Rebels held Jaedon LeDee, who entered the game as the Mountain West’s leading scorer and 17th in the nation at 20.8 points per game, to just 12 points on 2 of 12 from the field.
UNLV held San Diego State to just 8 of 35 shooting in the first half (22.9%). The Aztecs finished the game at just 28.1% (18 of 64).
UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in an NCAA record of 1,222 straight games.

 

UNLV vs San Diego State First Half:

 

UNLV vs San Diego State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

It took nearly two and a half minutes before either team got on the board, but UNLV point guard Dedan Thomas Jr. nailed a three-pointer to not only continue the Runnin’ Rebels’ consecutive three-point streak but also give them a 3-0 lead. Keylan Boone followed Thomas’ three-pointer up with one of his own and UNLV was leading 6-0.

The Runnin Rebels had an 18-10 lead at the halfway point of the first half after San Diego State’s Jaedon Lee made a layup. Kalib Boone follows up a missed Thomas layup with a dunk to give UNLV a 10-point lead, 20-10.

Karl Jones made two free throws for UNLV to give them a 15-point lead, 28–13 over San Diego State. Diaz cut the lead to 28-23 after Elijah Saunders made a three-pointer. The Aztecs got the lead down to three points after Micah Parrish made a three-pointer, but Rob Whaley Jr. made a layup and gave UNLV a 33-28 lead heading into the half. 

 

UNLV vs San Diego State 2nd Half:

 

UNLV vs San Diego State | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The second half got started with San Diego State and UNLV trading buckets to open the period. But the Runnin’ Rebels got the lead back up to 10 points after a layup from Luis Rodriguez to make the score 40–30. But San Diego State cut the lead to a single point after a Myles Bird layup to make the score 42–41 with 12:08 remaining in the game.

Keylan Boone made a layup to give UNLV a 44-41 lead. He then came down and nailed a three-pointer to give the Runnin’ Rebels a six-point lead, 47–41. Both teams tightened up their defense, and it was reflected on the scoreboard as UNLV’s lead got as high as seven points after Thomas made another three-pointer to make the score 56–49. That would be the largest lead for the rest of the game.

San Diego State and UNLV continued to trade buckets as the Aztecs got the lead down to, two points after Lamont Butler made a three-pointer to make the score 58–56. They tied the ball game up at 58 apiece after Butler made a layup. 

But head coach Kevin Kruger put the ball in his best player’s hands, freshman sensation Dedan Thomas Jr. The freshman took the ball at the top of the key and started to take the Aztec defender to the hole, but stopped on a dime and drilled a step back jumper to make the score 60–58 UNLV. 

The Aztecs had the ball and Parrish attempted to three-pointer, but Kalib Boone did an outstanding job of stepping to the side and putting his arm up to block the shot. UNLV got the ball to Thomas who was fouled. The freshman iced the game with two free throws to make the score 62–58 and sent the UNLV senior class out with an upset win over San Diego State in front of a crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Really happy and proud of them. They just deserved it. A handful of weeks ago everyone wrote everyone in this program off and there was a nastiness around it. But they stuck together and continued to work. They won at some tough venues and had some great wins here at home,UNLV head coach Kevin Kruger said after the game. “They are playing for each other and that’s why I think they’re having as much fun as they are with this run right now. There are a lot of things to be proud of tonight and in the conference season with one game left, but these guys know they can enjoy it tonight and they can enjoy it tomorrow on an off day, but when we get back Thursday it will be with a great intent to get ready for Reno.

 

UNLV will travel to Reno to take on UNR on Saturday, March 9th, at 7:30 p.m. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

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– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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