UNLV in their last three games have been underdog. They ended up winning all three and against good opponents like Colorado State and Nevada. Again, at home, against Boise State, they were 1.5 point underdogs. However, the streak could not continue.
The Broncos stated off hot with going up on the Rebels 7-2 in the first five minutes after Abu Kigab scored the first points for Boise. UNLV had some trouble on offense with some early turnovers and offensive fouls. These offensive mistakes led to Bronco points. They went on an 8-0 run that UNLV could not recover from.
Boise led by ten points with a little over ten minutes left in the first half. UNLV’s Donovan Williams got them back into game with putting up five straight points after a David Muoka layup to put them back within three. After Muoka completed a three point play after drawing a foul on a alley-oop from a Justin Webster pass, the Rebels cut the lead to only two, 29-27. Bryce Hamilton’s first points came up big with seven minutes left in the half as he got the Rebels to a one point deficit. This is the closest they would get in the first half.
Max Rice for the Broncos hit two threes back to back which put Boise up 36-29. The Broncos maintained this single digit lead for the rest of the half. The only time the Rebels got within three points was when Hamilton was fouled by Kigab behind the arc and we made all three free throws.
The first half ended with a Bronco lead, 47-41.
Bryce Hamilton and Royce Hamm Jr. were able to start the second half hot and get the Rebels back within three points in the first few minutes of the second half. Mike Nuga then hit at shot from behind the arc to tie the game up at 53. A little over 30 seconds later Hamilton got a defensive rebound and took it down the court. He put up a go-ahead layup to give the Rebels their first lead of the game. Then it was the battle of the stars for both squads.
After having a quiet first half, Hamilton was making bucket after bucket, but so was the Bronco star, Kigab. Kigab and Hamilton were back and forth for a few minutes of game time until some of the other Boise players stepped up. Hamilton was still knocking down everything and keeping the Rebels in the game.
After Hamilton went on his run, Boise started to pull away from UNLV. The Rebels started to making mistakes which were costly. The Broncos turned the Rebel mistakes into points.
The game ended in a final score of 86-76, Broncos.
Hamilton after having a slow first half ended up with 25 points and Donovan Williams had a good game as well putting up 17. The Rebels played good, but the Broncos played better with two of their guys, Abu Kigab and Marcus Shaver Jr., going over 20 points.
UNLV stays at home for their next game as they play Wyoming on Wednesday, March 2nd at 7:30 PM PST. Wyoming is second in the Mountain West, right behind Boise State.