UNLV vs Wyoming
Photo Credit: UNLV Athletics

FSM Essential Recap: UNLV vs. Wyoming – Game 25


UNLV (11-14 / 8-10) vs. Wyoming (13-10 / 7-9)



The UNLV men’s basketball team played it’s final regular season game in the 2020-21 season on Saturday when the Runnin’ Rebels traveled to Wyoming to take on the Cowboys at Arena-Auditorium.



UNLV vs Wyoming
Photo Credit: Trib.com

In what was a make-up from the scheduled two-game series that was postponed earlier in the season, UNLV lost its regular-season finale at Wyoming, 80-69, Saturday night at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyoming. The Cowboys had four players score in double figures, led by Ike Graham’s 17 points on 8 of 10 shooting, while Bryce Hamilton led three Runnin’ Rebels players in double-figure scoring with 17 points.

Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field, but the Cowboys made 10 3-pointers to just three for the Runnin’ Rebels.  But the turning point of the game came when Wyoming used a 15-2 run early in the second half to take a 20-point lead (58-38) with 13 minutes to go. UNLV would get no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Drake Jeffries had 14 points for Wyoming, while Hunter Thompson added 12 points, and Hunter Maldonado had 12 points and nine rebounds. UNLV’s David Jenkins Jr. had 10 points, Mbacke Diong had 8 points, and Caleb Grill added 7 points.

The Cowboys will be the No. 8 seed and play ninth-seeded San Jose State in Wednesday’s first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament. Seventh-seeded UNLV plays No. 10 seed Air Force.

Because of COVID-19 issues, the Runnin’ Rebels went 33 days without a game before playing at Colorado State on January 7 for its first Mountain West series of the season. However, since resuming play, UNLV has played a total of 19 games in a 55-day span.

Coming off a tie for second place in the Mountain West Conference standings last season, UNLV has had an entirely new look this year as 10 of its 13 scholarship players had yet to play in a game for the Runnin’ Rebels as the 2020-21 season began.


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


We knew with how Wyoming spaces the floor offensively that we were going to have to do a great job not only guarding the dribble one-on-one but also guarding the post-one-on-one and then contesting the 3-point line. That’s what we emphasized the last three days, that’s what we worked on, and we didn’t do a very good job with it tonight. They had everything going from the start. They had Graham Ike in the post and they started 4 for 5 from 3-point range and we were never able to string together enough stops to give ourselves a chance tonight.



Game Notes:


  • The game was a make-up from the scheduled two-game series that was postponed earlier in the season. It was the lone regular-season meeting between the two teams.
  • Edoardo Del Cadia scored a career-high 13 points for UNLV on 5 of 7 shooting. David Jenkins Jr. added 10 points, and Mbacke Diong scored eight on 4 of 4 from the field.
  • Three Runnin’ Rebels fouled out (Diong, Jenkins Jr., and Moses Wood).
  • Two Wyoming players made four 3-pointers each (Drake Jeffries scored 14 points on 4 of 6 3-pointers, and Hunter Thompson had 12 on 4 of 7). Hunter Maldonado added 12 points with a game-high nine rebounds.
  • Both teams started the game hot from the field: UNLV was 9 of 11, and Wyoming was 8 of 13. For the game, Wyoming shot 55.1% (27 of 49), and UNLV was 54.0% (27 of 50).
  • Wyoming was 50% on 3-pointers (10 of 20), while UNLV was 23.1% (3 of 13).
  • In the first half, UNLV was 1 of 7 on 3-pointers, while Wyoming was 6 of 10. The Cowboys led 43-34 at the break.
  • UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in an NCAA-record 1,127 straight games.



UNLV will open play in the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center as the No. 7 seed on Wednesday, March 10. The Runnin’ Rebels will face 10th-seeded Air Force in the first round at 1:30 p.m. Jon Sandler and former Runnin’ Rebel Curtis Terry will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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