Breaking down UNLV’s game against San Jose State

Breaking down UNLV’s basketball game against San Jose State at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center:

Backcourt

San Jose State’s Noah Baumann leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage at 54.7. Brae Ivey leads Spartans guards with 11.2 points per game. Kris Clyburn, Amauri Hardy and Noah Robotham combine to average 33.6 points for the Rebels. Since becoming a starter four games ago, Hardy has 25 assists and four turnovers with a 12.5 scoring average.

Edge: UNLV

Frontcourt

Air Force exploited UNLV’s depleted frontcourt, and the Rebels should learn from that experience, though they will face a size disadvantage against San Jose State. Michael Steadman leads the Spartans with 12.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game with six double-doubles. UNLV’s Joel Ntambwe averages 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds and has four double-doubles.

Edge: San Jose State

Bench

Don’t be surprised if UNLV coach Marvin Menzies tightens his rotation after going deep into his bench in consecutive games at high altitude. He still has more reliable weapons to go to even with the injuries than the Spartans, with players such as Bryce Hamilton (5.4 points) and Tervell Beck (4.9) capable of providing quality minutes.

Edge: UNLV

Intangibles

UNLV is a big favorite and is at home, and this really is a game the Rebels should win fairly easily. But it’s also easy to envision a scenario in which the Rebels begin slow and have a tougher fight on their hands than expected. There is no pressure on San Jose State, all of it resting on UNLV.

Edge: San Jose State

Betting line

UNLV -14½; total 145½

More Rebels: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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