Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 | 8:58 p.m.
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.
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.