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Runnin’ Rebels’ road winning ways continue, creep past Bulldogs

UNLV Runnin’ Rebel head coach Kevin Kruger has been waiting for that one defining defiant performance by his group and he may have just gotten it as the program extended its season-high win streak.


UNLV dumped Fresno State, 67-65, Wednesday, Feb. 14 from the Save Mart Center to run its win streak to five straight games. The Rebels entered play having just come off its second Top-25 win of the season after beating the New Mexico Lobos at The Pit.


Now, Kruger’s club has won three straight road games and four of its last five. As a result, the team is now 5-2 away from Las Vegas.


Everything has been going right for UNLV as of late as the team now sports a 14-9 record and have currently jumped up to the fourth spot in the Mountain West standings.


As part of a Lady Rebel-Runnin’ Rebel doubleheader, the latter will play in the nightcap from the Thomas & Mack Center Saturday, Feb. 17 when they host the in-state rival Nevada – Reno Wolf Pack.


Fresno State’s zone defense was no match for the aggression and persistence of UNLV as it muscled its way to 38 points in the paint while winning the battle by 14. This included shooting 13-of-14 on layup attempts.


On the way to the victory, UNLV torched the nets to the tune of 55% for the game. Junior forward Rob Whaley Jr. did a lot of that damage including two posterizing dunks, one in each half.


Whaley ended the night with a team-high 17 points on a near perfect 6-for-7 from the field.


Four other Rebels scored in double-figures including 15 points from fifth-year forward Keylan Boone, 12 points from his twin brother Kalib, 11 points from freshman guard Dedan Thomas Jr. and 10 points from fifth-year guard Luis Rodriguez. Thomas was named the conference’s Freshman of the Week earlier this week.


Thomas accounted for the lone made three of the game by UNLV after the team missed all five of its attempts in the first half. That made three helped preserve a streak of 1, 216 straight games with a made three-pointer for the program.


The all-around offensive performance by the Rebels was just enough to overcome a game where it wasn’t as successful in the turnover category as it normally is. The team was only able to force six turnovers on the night.


UNLV did wreak havoc on the defensive end for Fresno State’s starting quadruplet of guards of wound up going 11-for-32 from the field in the game. This includes a 6-for-21 mark in the first half.


Bulldogs reserve guard Leo Colimerio was the thorn in the side of the Rebel defense all night long with a career-high 30 points on a blistering 10-of-13 from the floor. That heroic endeavor was outlasted as UNLV sustained a last second defensive stand to come away with the victory.

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