UNLV basketball faces off against Creighton on Wednesday at Dollar Loan Center

UNLV basketball faces off against Creighton on Wednesday at Dollar Loan Center

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV men’s basketball team (3-4) will play its second straight game at the Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada, this Wednesday, Dec. 13 vs. No. 8 Creighton (8-1) at 6 p.m. as part of the Jack Jones Classic. The Runnin’ Rebels also played at the DLC on Saturday against Loyola Marymount, also in the Jack Jones Classic, which was their first game in an 11-day span and their second in 18 days. Prior to Saturday’s game, UNLV’s previously scheduled contest at Dayton was canceled after the tragedy on UNLV’s campus earlier that day.

ABOUT THE ROSTER: This season’s UNLV squad features seven returners from last year’s team along with seven newcomers. The newcomers are made up of three Division I transfers, a junior college transfer and three freshmen. UNLV has 10 upperclassmen, including five fifth-year seniors. A total of four players on the roster are playing in their hometown of Las Vegas. The Runnin’ Rebels return two starters in Luis Rodriguez and Justin Webster, who averaged 10.7 and 8.2 points per game last season, respectively. Rodriguez led last season’s team in rebounding (5.7 rpg).

RUNNIN’ REBEL LEADERS: Four UNLV players are averaging double figures in scoring in Kalib Boone (14.0 ppg), Dedan Thomas Jr. (11.7 ppg), Luis Rodriguez (11.6 ppg) and Jalen Hill (11.5 ppg). Hill leads the team in rebounds (6.8 rpg), while Dedan Thomas Jr. is the assists leader (6.1 apg, 18th in nation). Boone also leads the team in field-goal percentage (67.3, 13th in nation) and blocks (2.5 bpg, 14th in nation), while Rodriguez is the team’s steals leader (1.7 spg). Hill is out with a wrist injury (LMU was his first game missed).

LAST TIME OUT: Four Runnin’ Rebels scored in double figures led by Dedan Thomas Jr.’s season-high-tying 17 points, but the Runnin’ Rebels lost to Loyola Marymount 78-75 Saturday night at the Dollar Loan Center. Kalib Boone added 15 points and a season-high five blocks, while Isaiah Cottrell scored 14 and Justin Webster had 10 points. UNLV trailed by one and had a chance to win in the final seconds, but Thomas Jr. missed a potential game-winning floater from inside the free throw line. The game, which was a part of the Jack Jones Classic, was UNLV’s first since the tragedy took place last Wednesday on campus.

ABOUT THE OPPONENT: Creighton enters Wednesday’s game ranked eighth in the country with an 8-1 record. The Bluejays have won three straight and their only loss this season was to Colorado State in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. Creighton is coming off a 109-64 home win over Central Michigan on Saturday. Three CU players are averaging double figures in scoring: Baylor Scheierman (18.6 ppg), Trey Alexander (15.9 ppg) and Ryan Kalkbrenner (15.1 ppg). Scheierman also leads the team in rebounding (7.3 rpg), while Alexander is the assists and steals leader (4.9 apg, 1.1 spg) and Kalkbrenner leads in blocks (1.9 bpg). As a team, Creighton ranks in the top 10 in the country in effective field-goal percentage, rebound margin, defensive rebounding, scoring margin and 3-pointers made per game (No. 1). Scheierman is 17th in the country in 3-pointers made per game with 3.33. CU finished last season with an overall record of 24-13, placing third in the Big East Conference with a 14-6 league mark. Creighton advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, falling to San Diego State by a point last season. The Bluejays were picked to finish second in their league this season, receiving four of 11 first-place votes, while Alexander and Kalkbrenner were selected to the Preseason All-Big East First Team and Scheierman to the second team. Led by head coach Greg McDermott, Creighton has six upperclassmen on its 16-man roster.

TICKETS: Tickets to Wednesday’s game vs. Creighton at the Dollar Loan Center may be purchased at TheDollarLoanCenter.com.

BROADCAST INFO: Wednesday night’s game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network with Carter Blackburn and Pete Gillen calling the action. Jon Sandler, Kevaney Martin and Steve Cofield 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.

LAST SEASON: The Runnin’ Rebels finished the 2022-23 season with 19 wins. UNLV won two games over ranked teams, which marked the first time the program had won multiple games against top 25 teams in the same season since 2015-16. UNLV raced out to a hot start, going 11-1 in non-conference play after winning its first 10 games. The non-conference record was its best in 32 years and the 10-0 start was its best in 34 seasons. When the team was 10-0 it was receiving votes in both top 25 polls. EJ Harkless was named Second Team All-Mountain West when conference play concluded.