UNLV vs. Fresno State: Preview, Odds, How to Watch
Teams are fighting for a bye
Bulldogs vs. Rebels
WHO: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (14-11 6-6 in MW play) Vs Fresno State Bulldogs (16-8 6-5 in MW play)
When: Wednesday, February 16th, 7:30 p.m. PT
Where: Fresno, California
TV: CBS Sports Network
Stream: FuboTV — Get a free trial
Series Record: UNLV leads 33-17
A battle for the fifth place in Mountain West standing will take place tonight at the SaveMart Center. The Runnin’ Rebels come into Fresno today just half a game behind Fresno State for the 5th seed. The top 5 teams in the Conference receive a first round bye in the conference tournament, which is just a little under a month away.Both these teams have met once already in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bulldogs came out with a 73-68 victory; now both teams met again with a lot more at stake.
Keys To The Game: UNLV
The Rebels are looking to bounce back after a hard-fought loss to the Boise State Broncos. With six games to go, UNLV is sitting at the sixth spot in the conference standing looking to move into the top 5. With a win tonight, UNLV inches closer to receiving a first round bye in the Mountain West Tournament with a loss tonight. The Runnin’ Rebels fall back a full game from the 5th spot. Now the key to getting a victory tonight starts with the best scorer in the conference [and one of the best in the nation] – Bryce Hamliton – who is averaging nearly 22.0ppg and shooting 45% from the field. Hamilton dropped 24 points in the first meeting between these two.
The Rebels also need a big game from Royce Hamm Jr. who is averaging 8.4ppg and 9.4rpg which is second in the conference. Hamm Jr put 14 points and 8 rebounds in the first contest between these two. Defensively is where the Rebels lost this game last time. UNLV sent the Bulldogs to the line 21 times and that was where the Bulldogs won the game. For UNLV, they have to limit the inside shot’s and make Fresno State shoot. The Colorado Rams did a great job limiting the paint, and the Bulldogs had no answer. Lastly forcing turnovers – the Rebels forced 15 turnovers and had 18 points off turnovers in the first time out and will have to do more of the same today.
Keys To The Game: Fresno State
The Bulldogs are coming off their worst loss of the season to the Colorado State Rams and will look to shake that off quickly. In fact, that was the first time all season the Bulldogs lost by double digits. Now Fresno State will look to snap it’s two game losing streak tonight.
The keys for the Bulldogs offensively Orlando Robinson continues to show everyone why he is one of the best players in the Mountain West. Robinson is now averaging 18.9ppg (5th in the MW) 8.2rpg(4th in the MW). Unfortunately this seems like the only consent offense the Bulldogs have. Robinson was the only player who was in double digits against Colorado State and as a team the Bulldogs shot 35% from the field and 18% from three. With six games left can the Bulldogs find a consistent second scorer? Last season we saw Deon Stroud have a great stretch towards the end of season. Can the Bulldogs find that in someone else again? Defensively the Bulldogs have been great this season but last time out the Dogs looked like a different team. So how can Fresno State turn that around? It starts with defense to offense.
The Bulldogs created only three turnovers and had only two fast break points last time out. If this two game losing streak is going to be snapped the Bulldogs have to do a better job of forcing turnovers and getting points in transition.The Dog’s can’t rely too much on their half court offense when they don’t have enough offense. Lastly limit the three point shot. In the first matchup UNLV did a great job stretching the floor and hit shots from three down the stretch which helped the Runnin’ Rebels back into the game.
March is inching closer and the Mountain West gets more wild every game. Can the Rebels inch closer to putting themselves into getting a bye for the conference tournament? Can the Bulldogs complete the season sweep and snap their two game losing streak? We could be in for another great game.