UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. Colorado St. Rams Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 24th 2024

No. 22 Colorado State will look to bounce back at UNLV on Saturday night after its loss at New Mexico on Wednesday night.

The Rams (20-7, 8-6 MW) lost their first game after being ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time in three weeks following a stretch of winning five of six games.

Isaiah Stevens led Colorado State with 20 points while shooting 8 of 12 from the field in the 68-66 loss to New Mexico. He also had nine assists.

Joel Scott finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Stevens made two free throws with seven seconds left to put the Rams ahead 66-65.

New Mexico’s Donovan Dent then converted a 3-point play to win the game with 3.2 seconds left.

A last-second 3-point attempt by Nique Clifford was off the mark.

“I hurt for everybody here,” Colorado State coach Niko Medved said. “You know how hard it is to win these fricking games in this building (The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M.). When you’re right there, you want to steal it so bad.”

Colorado State defeated UNLV 78-75 in the first meeting on Jan. 19 at Fort Collins, Colo.

The Rams did not lead in the second half of that game until 2:35 was left.

Clifford had 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting in that game and Stevens contributed 18 points.

“We’ve got guys who’ve been through the wars before, and I think they embrace it,” Medved said.

The Rebels were led Keylan Boone’s 21 points eight rebounds in the game at Fort Collins. His twin brother, Kalib Boone, added 14 points, while Dedan Thomas Jr. scored 11 with a game-high eight assists.

UNLV (15-10, 8-5) is coming off a 72-43 road win Wednesday night at Air Force, a team that routed the Rebels 90-58 in Las Vegas last month.

UNLV has won six of its last seven games.

Rob Whaley Jr. had 15 points and seven rebounds to lead the Rebels in the win over Air Force.

Brooklyn Hicks scored a career-high 12 points and Keylan Boone added 11 points.

The Rebels responded after losing against rival Nevada 69-66 in their previous game that was played at home last week.

Whaley mentioned he and the Boone brothers held an informal meeting ahead of the game at Air Force.

“Me, K.B., Key, we got together, and we were like, ‘We need to be physical,'” Whaley said. “‘We need to get on the glass more and get more rebounds, because we can’t be out-rebounded by 20 like we were last game.'”

UNLV outrebounded Air Force 44-19 and had 15 second-chance points while Air Force had only two.

The Rebels also limited Air Force to 34.6 percent shooting from the field, including 17.9 percent from 3-point range 5 of 28).

“We were active,” Whaley said. “We came together as a team defensively. We were way better compared to the first time we played them. We were more in sync. We played together.”

UNLV won three consecutive games at home against Colorado State before losing 82-81 in overtime last season.

Stevens had 33 points in that game, including an 8-of-16 performance from 3-point range.

–Field Level Media

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