Central Arkansas (5-6) at (19) U-N-L-V (13-2)
Wednesday, December 28th, 10:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: C. Arkansas 4-1, UNLV 9-0. Away Record: C. Arkansas 1-5, UNLV 2-2. Neutral Record: C. Arkansas 0-0, UNLV 2-0. Conference Record: C. Arkansas 0-0, UNLV 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The 19th-ranked UNLV Runnin' Rebels will do battle with the Central Arkansas Bears tonight in Las Vegas.
Three straight losses have dropped Central Arkansas to 5-6 overall, and the team is just 1-5 away from home. Members of the Southland Conference, the Bears were no match for Drake on Wednesday, falling to the Bulldogs in an 87-64 final.
As for UNLV, which will begin the Mountain West Conference portion of its schedule shortly, it enters this game with a stellar 13-2 overall record. New head coach Dave Rice has guided his club to four consecutive victories, including last Friday's 85-68 romp over California. UNLV is 8-0 at the Thomas & Mack Center this season and has won 10 straight games over non-conference opponents at home.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Central Arkansas and UNLV on the hardwood.
Central Arkansas struggled mightily at the offensive end in the 23-point loss to Drake last time out, shooting 35.8 percent from the field while turning the ball over 14 times. Defensively, the Bears were victimized by 52.4 percent shooting by the Bulldogs, who nailed 10 three-pointers in the affair. Dewan Clayborn represented the lone bright spot for Central Arkansas, as he poured in 23 points off the bench on the strength of 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc, and 9-of-10 from the foul line. LaQuentin Miles was held in check by Drake, but he is scoring 17.7 ppg this season to go along with 6.0 rpg and 27 steals. The only other double-digit scorer on the roster is Jordan Harks, as he tallies 10.0 ppg while grabbing 6.1 rpg. The Bears are netting 75.5 ppg, a solid output, but they are yielding an unsightly 83.5 ppg.
Chace Stanback is the top scorer for UNLV so far this season, as he is netting 14.5 ppg on the strength of his 45.1 percent accuracy from three-point range. Mike Moser tallies 13.7 ppg for the Rebels while ripping down 11.2 rpg, and Oscar Bellfield rounds out the trio of double-digit scorers with 10.4 ppg. UNLV is generating 78.4 ppg while limiting opponents to 64.5 ppg on 40.6 percent field goal efficiency. The Rebels have been solid on the glass, grabbing 4.7 rpg more than the opposition. Anthony Marshall was the best player for UNLV in the victory over Cal last time out, as he poured in 22 points to go along with nine rebounds. Stanback added 15 points in that affair, while Bellfield contributed 11 points and 11 assists. The Rebels earned a 46-37 rebounding advantage and limited the Golden Bears to 37.7 percent field goal efficiency.
The Rebels have a legitimate chance to win the Mountain West this year, and they should have little trouble earning their 14th win tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UNLV 78, Central Arkansas 60
12/28 11:10:12 ET