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Nevada vs UNLV game preview: Wolf Pack looking a for much needed win against rival Rebels

The Wolf Pack, who are on a four game losing streak, host the UNLV Runnin' Rebels as the Wolf Pack look to sweep the Rebels.

Inserted into the starting lineup on Saturday, Eric Cooper scored 20 points against Fresno State and will start against UNLV on Tuesday.
Inserted into the starting lineup on Saturday, Eric Cooper scored 20 points against Fresno State and will start against UNLV on Tuesday.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

When the Nevada Wolf Pack and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels last faced each other, Marqueze Coleman hit the game winning shot in the final seconds to give the Wolf Pack the 64-62 win. With the win, Nevada had won their fourth straight game and started conference play 2-0.

Twenty days after that game, the wheels have fallen off for Nevada.

Nevada (6-12, 2-4 Mountain West) has dropped four straight games since their triumph in Las Vegas and now face UNLV (11-9, 2-5) again this time at the Lawlor Events Center on Tuesday Night. The Wolf Pack are looking to not only end this losing streak but to extend their winning streak against UNLV to four games which is something Nevada has not done since the mid 90s when both teams were in the Big West Conference.

Despite the loss to Fresno State on Saturday, the Wolf Pack may have solved its offensive issues by inserting Tyron Criswell and Eric Cooper Jr., into the starting lineup. Both players posted career highs in points as Criswell scored 20 points while  Cooper scored 19 points against the Bulldogs. Both players will start tomorrow night against the Rebels as both players will play alongside the very reliable forward AJ West who has posted four double doubles in six conference games so far.

UNLV, like their rivals from Reno, has had their troubles recently. The Rebels have lost six of their last eight games since defeating the then no.3 ranked Arizona Wildcats on December 23rd. But unlike Nevada, the Rebels are coming off an overtime win over Utah State 79-77 on Saturday. Similar to Nevada changing its starting lineup, UNLV has changed its lineup as well by going to four guards and one big man and using their athleticism to create more scoring opportunities.

The Wolf Pack have found a spark on offense with the additions of Criswell and Cooper into the starting lineup and it does give them hope to end their losing streak as they face a UNLV team who they have played their best basketball against and will need their best basketball performance in order to come away with the win.