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UNLV hopes to stack wins in next Mountain West contest

Who: Fresno State at UNLV

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Thomas & Mack Center

TV: FS1

Radio: KWWN (1100 AM/100.9 FM)

About the Rebels (10-9, 3-4 Mountain West): UNLV rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat San Jose State 77-65 on Saturday. The Rebels went on a 42-20 run the final 14 minutes and made their last 14 field goals.

Saturday’s win was UNLV’s first game without fifth-year guard Justin Webster, who suffered a left ankle injury in a 90-58 loss to Air Force on Jan. 23. Junior forward Rob Whaley Jr. started in Webster’s place.

The Rebels received key contributions from junior guard Jackie Johnson III and freshman guard Brooklyn Hicks. Johnson scored all 12 of his points against San Jose State in the second half, while Hicks added seven points in 18 minutes.

“We probably had lineups (against San Jose State) we hadn’t seen barely at all,” coach Kevin Kruger said. “It’s guys still learning each other and the readiness of Brooklyn, Jackie and even (sophomore forward) Isaiah (Cottrell) was huge. I don’t think we bounce back and get that win if they’re not ready with their number being called with the injuries we have.”

About the Bulldogs (9-11, 2-5): Fresno State is coming off a 84-70 victory against Air Force on Saturday.

The Bulldogs swept the Rebels last season, winning 76-63 at home and 82-79 on the road.

Senior guard Isaiah Hill leads Fresno State in scoring with 12.5 points per game. Hill is also fourth in the Mountain West in assists per game with 6.1. Junior center Enoch Boakye is third in the conference in rebounding with 8.2 per game.

Kruger said defending Hill in pick-and-roll situations has been a focus at practice.

“(Hill’s) going to make plays, great players do, but we’ve got to be really good in our pick-and-roll coverage,” Kruger said. “We have to be really aware, and not just the two guys involved, but the three guys behind it too.”

The Bulldogs are just 1-5 in true road games this season.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com.

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