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Rebels vs Cowboys

Steve Marcus

UNLV forward Kalib Boone (10) goes to the basket against Wyoming forward Mason Walters (33) during the second half of an NCAA basketball game at the Thomas & Mack Center Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. STEVE MARCUS

  • What:
    UNLV vs. No. 22 Colorado State
  • When:
    Saturday, 5 p.m.
  • Where:
    Thomas and Mack Center
  • TV:
    CBS Sports Network
  • Radio:
    1100AM, 100.9FM

Coming off Wednesday’s blowout win at Air Force, the UNLV basketball team is hoping to continue the late-season momentum when it hosts Colorado State on Saturday (5 p.m., CBS Sports Network).

Three keys to watch:

The closer

UNLV had a chance to score one of its most impressive victories of the season when the team traveled to take on Colorado State on Jan. 18. And for 34 minutes, it looked like the Scarlet and Gray were going to pull it off.

Then Isaiah Stevens happened.

The fifth-year point guard took over down the stretch, scoring eight points and dishing out three assists that led to another eight points. Colorado State went from trailing by six to winning, 78-75.

Stevens finished with 18 points and seven assists, which is right in line with his season averages, but it was the way he dominated the final six minutes that have stuck with UNLV players and coaches.

When the Rams come to the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, Kevin Kruger said UNLV will have to defend Stevens for all 40 minutes.

“He’s a 40-minute guy,” Kruger said after Friday’s practice. “Great players make great plays, and he does that. You’ve just got to do your best to make it as tough as possible. At the end of games, it feels like his percentages go up and he’s that much more threatening.”

UNLV used 6-foot-6 wing Luis Rodriguez as the primary defender on Stevens the first time around, and that’s likely to be the matchup again on Saturday.

Waiting on Webster

Justin Webster was expected to be a high-volume 3-point marksman this season, coming off a 2022-23 campaign in which he nailed 46.0% from long distance. But the senior guard got off to a slow start, and an ankle injury knocked him out of action for more than two weeks, compounding the issue.

Since returning to the lineup on Feb. 10, Webster has come off the bench and mostly served as a decoy, going scoreless in his first three outings (which lasted a combined 17 minutes).

He bumped up to 23 minutes against Air Force, however, and connected on his first 3 since his return, finishing with seven points. Webster is now shooting 29.2% from 3 on the season, but the team believes he is capable of getting hot at any point.

Kruger credited Webster’s energy level since his return and said he is still valuable because he attracts defensive attention.

Now that Webster has gotten some extended time, Kruger is hopeful his shooting touch will return.

“To see his first one go down at Air Force was awesome,” Kruger said. “He’s struggling and he’s frustrated that he hasn’t had the same shooting effect that he had last year, but that also is a sign of respect. He doesn’t have quite the same looks that he had last year.”

Standings watch

The win at Air Force allowed UNLV to move up one spot in the Mountain West standings, putting them in sixth place with an 8-5 conference record. They’re actually tied for fifth with UNR, but at this point UNR’s head-to-head win gives them the edge — for now.

UNLV will get another shot at UNR in the season finale on March 9, and they’ll face fourth-place San Diego State in the game before that on March 5. So despite some difficult losses throughout the season, UNLV still has an opportunity to make a move up the standings in the final weeks.

Who: UNLV (15-10, 8-5 MWC) vs. Colorado State (20-7, 8-6 MWC)

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

Where: Thomas & Mack Center

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: 1100 AM, 100.9 FM

UNLV leaders


D.J. Thomas: 12.4 points


Luis Rodriguez: 6.6 rebounds


D.J. Thomas: 5.8 assists

Colorado State leaders


Isaiah Stevens: 16.3 points


Nique Clifford: 7.2 rebounds


Isaiah Stevens: 7.4 assists

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

Article written by #LasVegasSun