Connect with us



Rebels Defeat Flames, 112-56

Steve Marcus

UNLV Rebels guard Jackie Johnson III (24) puts up a shot against the Bethesda University Flames during an exhibition game at the Cox Pavilion Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

  • What:
    UNLV at Boise State
  • When:
    Tuesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where:
    Boise, Idaho
  • TV:
    CBS Sports Network
  • Radio:
    1100AM, 100.9FM

The UNLV basketball team is entering a pivotal stretch of the season. After proving their Mountain West mettle with a convincing win over New Mexico, the Scarlet and Gray were handed a tough, last-second loss to Utah State on Saturday, as a controversial call went against them on the final possession.

Can Kevin Kruger get his squad to put it in the rear-view mirror and rally for a tough pair of road games this week? We’ll find out on Tuesday, as UNLV travels to take on Boise State (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network).

Three keys to watch:

Call reverberates

UNLV thought it had a win on Saturday, up by four points with 14 seconds remaining. But a controversial defensive-foul call on Kalib Boone allowed Utah State to score five points on a single possession, leaving Kruger and his players stunned.

The call already cost UNLV one game. How many more will they let it cost them?

If the Scarlet and Gray come out feeling sorry for themselves on Tuesday, a quality Boise State team will surely make short work of them. Kruger is hoping his veteran laden crew will put the call in the past and focus on the task at hand.

“At some point in your career, you’re obviously going to have tough losses,” he said. “When you’ve got guys who have been in college four or five years, you hope that they can get through it a little bit quicker and get ready to move on, because we’ve got a really tough road trip coming up.”

Gone Whalin’

When Jalen Hill went down for the season with a torn ACL, there was a question about how UNLV would make up for his all-around production. Junior forward Rob Whaley got the first crack at it, and he’s making a case for a bigger role.

The 6-foot-6 reserve has been a standout over the past three contests, including an 11-point, eight-rebound, two-assist showing in 24 minutes against Utah State.

After the Utah State game, Kruger said Whaley is playing with confidence now that he has found his stride.

“He’s had great games,” Kruger said. “He’s been great in the paint, doing a great job defensively, rebounding it, playing really physically.”

Clamps out

While Boise State hasn’t been the most hyped team in the Mountain West this season, the Broncos may end up being the best.

A balanced scoring attack features four players in double figures, but Boise’s real calling card is at the other end of the floor, where they rank No. 18 in KenPom’s adjusted defense metric. That’s the best mark of any team in the conference, and it has powered them to a 3-0 start, including back-to-back wins over Colorado State and UNR in which neither opponent was able to score 60 points.

Oh, and the Broncos have won 22 straight home games.

If UNLV wants to have any chance of snapping that streak, it’s probably going to take their best performance of the season — and more than 60 points.

Who: UNLV (8-7, 1-2 MWC) at Boise State (12-4, 3-0 MWC)

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: ExtraMile Arena (Boise, Idaho)

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: 1100 AM, 100.9 FM

UNLV leaders


Kalib Boone: 13.7 points


Luis Rodriguez: 6.7 rebounds


D.J. Thomas: 6.6 assists

Boise State leaders


Tyson Degenhart: 15.5 points


O’mar Stanley: 6.0 rebounds 


Roddie Anderson: 2.7 assists

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

Article written by #LasVegasSun