Unlv vs texas state

UNLV vs Texas State

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Runnin’ Rebels (2-3)  |  Texas State Bobcats (3-2)

 

UNLV ended their three-game losing streak with a 72-58 victory over Abilene Christian on Monday night.

Head coach TJ Otzelberger was happy to see his team learn and improve on some things from their games against power five conference opponents.

Monday night’s game was the first of four for the Runnin’ Rebels at home as part of the Southwestern Showdown, which is a multiple team event played in a round robin format.

The next opponent in the way is the Texas State Bobcats, coming out of the Sun Belt Conference.

Their head coach is Danny Kasper, who is now in his seventh season in San Marcos. They are coming off a successful season in which they finished with a record of 24-10, the program’s highest win total in over 20 years. In conference play, they finished 12-6, their best record since joining the Sun Belt Conference, which got them to second place in the conference standings. The team fell short in the conference tournament semifinals, and finished their season in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

Heading into this game, the Bobcats are led by senior guard Nijal Pearson, who is averaging 17.8 points per game. The product of Beaumont, Texas, scored 20 points in their close 72-63 loss to Baylor, who is ranked 24th in the country.

The Bobcat’s other loss on the season was to another Mountain West Conference opponent, Air Force. They lost that game 78-71, and both of those games were on the road.

Otzelberger and his staff will have to be sure to let the guys know to not take Texas State lightly when they come into the Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday night.

If their defense gets sloppy in the second half like it did in their last game, they might be in serious danger. UNLV allowed Abilene Christian to come back and tie the game with 10 minutes left in the game. They were then able to maintain the tempo of the game and win, but that might not be the case if they allow the Bobcats to keep things close.

The Runnin’ Rebels will have to continue running their offense in a more fluid motion and steady pace to get more players involved. That was one key difference I noticed in the Abilene Christian game, as opposed to the game against Kansas State.

For the first time this season, they attempted some backdoor cuts to the basket, as opposed to having four players standing around the three-point line. All eight players who entered the game scored which is a huge improvement from only having four players on the team score a single point.

One of the key factors to the more offensive flow was sophomore guard Bryce Hamilton driving to the basket more aggressively on a few positions instead of waiting for an open three throughout the whole game.

When he drives to the hoop, the possession usually ends in a tough and-one opportunity for himself or a drive and kick assist to a teammate.

Another member of the team who needs to get back into the flow of things is Jonah Antonio. The Australian native started the season red-hot from the three-point line, but has been ice cold since the Kansas State game.

The Runnin’ Rebels will take on Texas State on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7pm at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game can be streamed live on unlvrebels.com and can be heard on ESPN Radio 1100, on the UNLV Gameday app, or on TuneIn.

UNLV vs Texas State

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Isaiah Torres

Twitter: @Isaiah_Torres24

https://twitter.com/TheFranchiseLV

UNLV vs Texas State

UNLV vs Texas State