UNLV Runnin’ Rebels vs. Creighton Bluejays Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 13th 2023

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No. 8 Creighton will look to record another efficient performance from the field Wednesday night when it takes on UNLV in Henderson, Nev.

Reserve Isaac Traudt set career highs in 3-pointers (five) and points (18) to lead the Bluejays (8-1) to their third straight victory with a 109-64 romp over Central Michigan on Saturday.

Traudt’s breakout performance came on the heels of recording single-digit scoring performances in each of his previous seven games. And that’s after failing to play as a redshirt at Virginia last season.

“I felt clueless a lot of the times,” Traudt said. “I wasn’t used to just playing free basketball or anything like that. So it took me a while. I’m not all the way there yet, but I definitely feel more comfortable.”

Mason Miller and Trey Alexander certainly felt comfortable on Saturday, as each connected four times from beyond the arc to finish with 17 and 15 points, respectively for Creighton. The Bluejays made 15 of 31 attempts from long distance (48.4 percent) and 41 of 63 shots overall from the floor (65.1 percent) to turn away the Chippewas.

“We’ve had some teams that could really shoot it,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “This team probably stands apart in some ways because of the number of guys who can shoot it.”

Ryan Kalkbrenner, Fredrick King and Baylor Scheierman are three of those players. Kalkbrenner made all seven of his shots from the floor to finish with 15 points vs. the Chippewas, while King went 6-for-8 in his 14-point performance and Scheierman went 4-for-5 for 13 points.

“I really thought we had some productive practices during finals week,” McDermott said. “To play like we did (vs. Central Michigan) coming off that, I’m very, very pleased.”

Scheierman, Kalkbrenner and Alexander are cleaning up in both points and rebounds this season. Scheierman boasts team-leading averages in both categories (18.6, 7.3), while Alexander (15.9, 6.4) and Kalkbrenner (15.1, 6.6) have provided sizable contributions.

The Rebels (3-4) will have a tall task as they attempt to keep Creighton in check.

UNLV enters the encounter after dropping its third decision in four games with a 78-75 setback to Loyola Marymount on Saturday. However, there was a bigger picture involved, as that game was the first since an on-campus shooting last week.

“Basketball is such a small thing after seeing something like that,” UNLV coach Kevin Kruger said.

Dedan Thomas Jr. scored a season-high-tying 17 points to go with eight assists against the Lions. His bid for the go-ahead basket caromed off the rim with three seconds remaining.

Kalib Boone, who averages a team-best 14 points per game, contributed 15 points and a campaign-best five blocks on Saturday for UNLV. Isaiah Cottrell had 14 points and five assists and Justin Webster added 10 points.

“We said it before. This game is nothing more than for the staff members and the university,” Webster said, per the Las Vegas Sun. “And we just couldn’t get it done.”

–Field Level Media

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