After defeating No. 21 Dayton on Tuesday night and improving its record to 3-0 on the season, the UNLV men’s basketball team will close out its season-opening four-game homestand on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. against High Point (3-0) at the Thomas & Mack Center.
LAST TIME OUT: The Runnin’ Rebels defeated No. 21 Dayton 60-52 Tuesday night at home, marking their first win over a ranked non-conference opponent at the Thomas & Mack Center in eight seasons. EJ Harkless scored a game-high 24 points on 9 of 19 shooting with six rebounds and three assists, while Keshon Gilbert added 16 points on 6 of 9 from the field with three assists and three steals. David Muoka was the game’s leading rebounder with nine and also contributed a career-high four steals and two blocks. UNLV held Dayton without a field goal over the final 6:45. The Flyers made just five in the entire second half. The Runnin’ Rebels limited UD to just 20 second-half points and came back from being down as many as 12 points.
ABOUT THE ROSTER: This season’s UNLV squad features six returners, nine newcomers, including six transfers from the Division I level, and a total of 10 upperclassmen. The lone returning starter is 6-foot guard Jordan McCabe, who was a senior last season and returns for his fifth year for 2022-23. Other returners include 6-3 senior guard Justin Webster, 6-10 senior center David Muoka, 6-4 sophomore guard Keshon Gilbert, 6-7 senior forward Victor Iwuakor and 6-3 senior guard Cameron Burist.
The newcomers include 6-10 redshirt sophomore forward Isaiah Cottrell, who is originally from Las Vegas and transferred to UNLV from West Virginia, 6-7 freshman guard Keyshawn Hall from Cleveland, Ohio, 6-3 fifth-year guard EJ Harkless, who transferred from Oklahoma, 5-11 sophomore guard Jackie Johnson III, who transferred from Duquesne, 6-10 junior forward Karl Jones, who transferred from LA Southwest College, 6-6 sophomore guard Shane Nowell, who transferred from Arizona, 6-4 fifth-year guard Elijah Parquet, who transferred from Colorado, 6-6 senior guard Luis Rodriguez, who transferred from Ole Miss and 6-1 junior guard Nick Walters, who transferred from the College of Southern Nevada.
After three contests, Gilbert leads the team in scoring with 17.3 ppg, while shooting 58% from the field, 70% on 3-pointers and 88% on free throws, in addition to averaging 2.3 steals per game. Harkless is scoring 14.3 ppg with 4.7 rebounds per game and 2.3 spg. Muoka is the team’s leading rebounder at 6.3 rpg.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: High Point has averaged 100 points per game so far this season with wins over Pfeiffer (109-71), Wofford (91-80) and Lees-McRae (100-83). The Panthers rank No. 1 in the country in fast-break points (32.8 per game), and have three players averaging double figures in scoring: Jaden House with 26.0 ppg, Abdoulaye Thiam with 17.0 ppg and Zach Austin with 15.7 ppg. Ahmard Harvey is the team’s leading rebounder with 9.0 rpg. High Point finished the 2021-22 season with an overall record of 14-18, finishing third in the Big South’s north division with a 7-9 mark. This season’s team was picked to finish fifth in the Big South’s preseason poll. The Panther’s 16-man roster includes eight upperclassmen. HPU is coached by G.G. Smith, who is in his first full season as head coach at the school. He also was a head coach for five seasons at Loyola in Maryland.
TICKETS: UNLV men’s basketball season ticket pricing has been adjusted for the 2022-23 season, with affordability and family-friendly value at the forefront of the changes. Tickets may be purchased online at UNLVtickets.com, on the phone by calling 702-739-FANS (3267) or in person at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office.
PROMOTIONS: Before Friday night’s game, all students are invited to Runnin’ Rebel Fest with free food from Taco Bell. Runnin’ Rebel Fest will begin at 5 p.m. in the plaza near the Coach Tarkanian statue. The game will also be the first 50% Off Friday of the season, with half off pizza for all fans from select concession stands during the game.
BROADCAST INFO: Friday’s game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network and the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network (Digital 5.2 and Cox 125) with Matt Neverett and Tony Cordasco calling the action. 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. All streaming links and live stats are available at UNLVRebels.com and through the UNLV Rebels App.