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UNLV Defeats Stetson, 71-55

Steve Marcus

UNLV Rebels head coach Kevin Kruger calls out to players during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against the Stetson Hatters at the Thomas & Mack Center Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.

The UNLV basketball team passed its first road test on Friday, as they traveled to Pepperdine and came away with a comfortable 82-68 victory.

The win moves the Scarlet and Gray to 2-1 on the season.

A hot shooting start saw UNLV make its first three 3-pointers and six of their first seven attempts overall as Kevin Kruger’s squad ran out to a 17-6 lead in Malibu. The margin stayed right around 10 points for the rest of the half, and UNLV went into the locker room with a 40-30 advantage at the break.

Pepperdine cut it to 59-53 midway through the second half, but UNLV responded with a flurry of open-court baskets, including a fast break that saw D.J. Thomas find Kalib Boone for a dunk to make it 65-55 with six minutes remaining.

Thomas had another outstanding game, as the freshman point guard posted 17 points and five assists. He did not record a turnover for the second straight game.

Boone came off the bench for the second game in a row and led UNLV with 19 points in 22 minutes. The senior center made 9-of-10 from the field.

Jackie Johnson chipped in 13 points, including a corner 3 with three minutes left that pushed UNLV’s lead to 73-59 and served as the dagger.

UNLV won’t be returning home right away. Kruger’s crew will head straight to Daytona Beach for the four-team Sunshine Slam, with a matchup against Florida State set for Monday.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun

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