LARAMIE, Wyo. — Breaking down the UNLV basketball game against Wyoming at 6 p.m. PST Wednesday at Arena-Auditorium:
Wyoming’s leading scorer is actually a reserve — Justin James at 14.6 points per game. He leads a backcourt that averages 15.0 assists, compared to 13.9 for UNLV, but the Rebels shoot at a little higher percentage from the 3-point arc (34.0 to 32.0). The tiebreaker is how UNLV’s Jovan Mooring performs, and that is always a mystery. Because he is improving and coming off a 30-point game against Air Force on Saturday, give the edge to the Rebels.
The Cowboys are first in the Mountain West in rebounding, averaging 39.8. Starter Alan Herndon (10.3 points, 6.2 rebounds) and reserve Hayden Dalton (13.1, 8.6) will be a tough challenge for the Rebels. Cheickna Dembele has blocked 13 shots in his past five games, and he will need to continue to protect the rim for UNLV. Teammate Christian Jones has scored in double figures in three of his past four games.
Wyoming brings its two leading scorers off the bench to provide a spark, and it’s worked in building a 13-7 record. UNLV’s bench has been inconsistent, but the Rebels are capable of going deep. They’ll need to playing at 7,220 feet above sea level.
This is a tough place to play, largely because of the altitude, and the Rebels have lost its past two games at Arena-Auditorium and is 9-14 all time there. How UNLV coach Marvin Menzies handles his players’ minutes will be crucial.
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