UNLV’s first game on the road in Mountain West Conference action did not go so well. However, considering the way the Runnin’ Rebels have played in two contests since then, there’s a good chance things could go better this time.
The 12th-ranked Rebels look for a third straight victory when they try to hand Boise State a fifth consecutive loss Wednesday night.
All three of UNLV’s losses have come away from home, most recently 69-67 to then-No. 22 San Diego State to open MWC play Jan. 14. The Rebels (18-3, 2-1), however, have rebounded nicely at home by shooting a combined 54.9 percent while beating TCU 101-78 last Wednesday and New Mexico 80-63 on Saturday.
“You can never score too many points,” said senior guard Anthony Marshall, averaging 22.0 points on 25-of-48 shooting in three conference games.
UNLV was able to push the ball like it expects Saturday, scoring 26 fast-break points. In the second half, the Rebels scored 26 points off 11 turnovers.
“We are never satisfied with where we are,” coach Dave Rice said. “We need to be the aggressor. When we can do that, we can be a very good team.”
The Rebels hope their offensive success from the last two games will carry over to the road, where they are 3-3. UNLV has averaged 74.2 points away from home - 7.3 fewer than its overall mark.
Though Boise State (10-8, 0-3) is scoring 83.1 points per game while going 9-1 at home, the Broncos have averaged 56.3 on 37.8 percent shooting during their current four-game skid. That included their lone loss on their own court, 74-59 to Air Force on Jan. 14 in their first home contest since moving to the Mountain West from the Western Athletic Conference.
The Rebels lost 84-69 in their only previous game at Boise State during the first round of the 2004 postseason NIT. In the schools’ most recent meeting, Chace Stanback scored 16 points and Marshall added 11 as UNLV won 75-72 on Dec. 8, 2010.
The Broncos must try to contain UCLA transfer Mike Moser, who averages 14.0 points and a team-leading 11.3 rebounds in his first season with the Rebels. The 6-foot-8 sophomore is one of 25 players on a watch list to be considered college basketball’s best player.
Facing its first ranked opponent of the season, Boise State has dropped three in a row against Top 25 teams since a 66-56 home win over No. 21 Utah State on Feb. 14, 2009.
Freshman swingman Anthony Drmic is the Broncos’ top scorer at 13.1 points per game, but he’s averaged 7.3 on 10-of-41 shooting over the last four contests.