Does UNLV's win over Dayton put them as the second best Mountain West team?

Does UNLV's win over Dayton put them as the second best Mountain West team?

Mountain West Basketball

Does UNLV's win over Dayton put them as the second best Mountain West team?


UNLV pulls off stunning comeback


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Harkless leads the way

Wow! Is the only word I can formulate when thinking about UNLV absolutely shutting Dayton down in the second half of action, allowing only 20 points to secure the 60-52 victory. San Diego State showed a bad offensive and elite defense could still result in many wins and UNLV might follow suit this season. The Runnin’ Rebels got 24 points on 9-19 shooting from Elijah Harkless and Keshon Gilberts continues his sophomore ascension with 16 points.

I fully believe UNLV is the second — or third best team in the conference behind San Diego State and battling with New Mexico for second or third. But it’s hard to bet against UNLV right now, as they currently lead the country in defensive turnover percentage and just stifled a ranked opponent in the final 20 minutes.

Dayton took a 32-20 lead with less than one minute left in the first half on a Kobe Elvis jumper then it went downhill from then on. The Flyers gave the ball away a whopping 23 times. It’s hard to win games when you turn the ball over almost 25 times and UNLV loves to turn the opposition over. It happened again today. Potential All-America selection DaRon Holmes II provided two points on 1-5 shooting for Dayton. They got virtually nothing from the player who’s widely-regarded as the best and most valuable player on the roster.

The offense isn’t good — and probably will stay that way, but Keshon Gilbert averaged 18 points entering tonight and scored 16 today. He’s quickly emerging as a go-to option next to the long line of rangy defenders Kevin Kruger has to put into the lineup.

As Colorado State looks lost without Isaiah Stevens and Wyoming is clearly vulnerable without Graham Ike, it allows UNLV to make a jump into the upper-echelon of the conference. They made the jump and leaped to 3-0 on the season.

The next matchup comes this weekend against High Point at the Thomas & Mack center, but it’s no cakewalk. HPU features Jaden House, one of the top scorers in college hoops to begin the season, so the elite defense will have a tough test when the Panthers come to town.

Buckle up, Runnin’ Rebels fans, bright days await in sunny Las Vegas.




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