Runnin Rebels defeat University of Wyoming Cowboys 69-59

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Keshon Gilbert is taking the ball upcourt against the Wyoming Cowboys. Gilbert finished the game with 10 points in the victory. Photo courtesy of UNLV Athletics.

UNLV completed the regular season sweep against the Wyoming Cowboys defeating them 69-59 to improve the Runnin’ Rebels regular season record to 16-8 and their conference record to 5-7.

The Runnin’ Rebels have turned the page after a 1-6 start to conference play winning four of their last five conference games.

EJ Harkless led the Rebels with 33 points which is tied for his season high and he scored half of the Rebels’ 3-pointers knocking down five of them. Harkless also led the team in rebounds with a total of eight.

Wyoming has had tough luck with injuries this season’s leading Cowboy scorer Noah Reynolds and Mountain West Conference’s Preseason Player of The Year Graham Ike both recently announced out for the year.

“When you go through tough times like this, on the other side you’ll find out who’s about it and who really wants to work and who wants to do what we do,” Head Coach of Wyoming Jeff Linder said to the Casper-Star Tribune.

In Reynolds’s first match-up against the Runnin’ Rebels, he scored 23 points and made four 3-pointers.

The Runnin’ Rebels started off the first with a 3-pointer by Luis Rodriguez and Harkless to take a 6-3 lead early in the first half.

Xavier Dusell got the start in place of Reynolds and produced in the first half knocking down a 3-pointer to put the Cowboys up 10-6 with 14 minutes remaining in the first half.

Justin Webster knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Rebels a 13-10 lead midway in the first half.

At the end of the first half, an offensive rebound followed by a layup by David Muoka was the difference maker putting the Rebels up 25-24 at the half.

The second half started out with both teams trading baskets. Jordan McCabe and Harkless were able to give the Rebels breathing room with a 9-0 run giving them 38-33 midway through the second half.

Late in the second half a 7-0 run by the Runnin’ Rebels capped off by an Elijah Parquet 3-point jump shot led to the Runnin’ Rebels having a double-digit 61-50.

The Runnin’ Rebels held onto the lead to win 69-59 against the Wyoming Cowboys.

The Runnin’ Rebels next game is on the road at San Diego State at 1 p.m. San Diego is currently ranked #25 in the nation. UNLV has two wins against ranked opponents this season.  The last matchup between the Runnin’ Rebels and the Aztecs was earlier this season at UNLV on New Year’s Eve. San Diego State won the matchup 84-77.

“Their crowd gets into it, the energy is really high there,” Kruger said. “You gotta make big plays, you got to be strong and you got to be confident you can’t do anything out of character and you need to stick together if you want to have a chance to win at San Diego.”

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