Fresno State, UNLV Split Final Series Of The Year
A pair of close games between Rebels and Bulldogs
The regular season is nearing an end as we approach the final weekend, except for the added games that were forced from the postponements. Nonetheless, UNLV and Fresno State, two of the more disappointing teams in the Mountain West, faced off in Las Vegas this week.
The pair of schools have combined for just 19 wins in the entire year heading into Wednesday’s game.
Fresno State held a 9-9 overall record and UNLV had a 10-11 overall clip going into the series as the two teams were neck-and-neck for the six and seven spots in the Mountain West Conference.
Let’s start with Wednesday night’s game. It was close, it wasn’t pretty, and somehow this game was the talk of the town on social media thanks to Deon Stroud’s incredible 360 dunk that garnered national attention.
The Bulldogs found a way to escape with a three-point victory on Wednesday with a final score of 67-64. Isaiah Hill had a team-high 19 points with seven assists for Fresno State and Stroud had 18 with seven boards.
Moving over to the UNLV side of things, Bryce Hamilton once again led the way for the Rebels as he has done all year. He finished with a game-high 27 points on 11-24 shooting with six boards and Cheikh Diong was the only other UNLV player to finish in double-figures with 19 points.
The rest of the squad combined for just 21 points and even that was enough for the Rebels to hang tight with the Bulldogs the entire game.
Moving onto Friday night’s game and the situation was a bit different than before.
The score was nearly identical and this time UNLV won 68-67 in a nail-biter. In fact, neither team scored for nearly three minutes down the stretch before Stroud sunk two free throws to bring Fresno State within one.
Final from Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/pcJY3ZlQdm
— Fresno State Men’s Basketball (@FresnoStateMBB) February 27, 2021
However, that was the end of the scoring and Fresno State heads home with a Vegas split.
Junior Ballard led the way for the Bulldogs with 17 and Robinson had 15 points with five boards and five assists.
Caleb Grill led the way for the Rebels with 18 points to lead all scorers on the night in a game they squeaked out, although it wasn’t pretty down the stretch for either side.
The Bulldogs move to 10-10 overall and the Rebels go to 11-12 and have to face SDSU in a make up game from earlier this season before the beginning of the Mountain West Conference tournament.
For both these teams, a postseason berth is a pipe dream, as they would need to run the table in Vegas to receive a ticket to the Big Dance.
Otherwise, better luck next year.