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Boise State (15-6) at UNLV (14-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 8:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: BSU 10-2, UNLV 8-5. Away Record: BSU 3-3, UNLV 4-2. Neutral Record: BSU 2-1, UNLV 2-0. Conference Record: BSU 5-3, UNLV 5-3. Series Record: UNLV leads, 5-2.

GAME NOTES: Two teams tied for fourth place in the Mountain West Conference standings get together in Sin City, as the UNLV Runnin' Rebels host the Boise State Broncos at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Runnin' Rebels, who are just 8-5 at home this season, have won three straight decisions and four of the last five, thanks in part to a 70-46 romp over a hapless San Jose State program three nights ago on the road. With the victory versus the Spartans, UNLV is now 5-3 in conference play, which is exactly where the Broncos stand at the moment as well.

Boise State, which is set to host league-leading and nationally-ranked San Diego State next week, has won two straight games and four of the last five thanks to a 69-58 decision versus an undermanned Air Force squad on Wednesday night at Taco Bell Arena.

This is just the eighth meeting all-time between the programs, with UNLV holding a 5-2 advantage over the Broncos.

Against an Air Force team that was missing its top scorer, the Broncos leaned on Ryan Watkins and his 16 points and game-high 13 rebounds, while Anthony Drmic matched the forward in the scoring department and had six boards of his own. Jeff Elorriaga and reserve Thomas Bropleh each tallied 13 points for the hosts as well, making up for starter Nick Duncan and Derrick Marks who combined for only eight points while dealing with foul trouble.

Watkins, one of 16 Division I players to be averaging a double-double heading into the weekend, is posting 11.4 ppg and 10.8 rpg. On the offensive glass alone, where Watkins has 105 boards, just that total would make him the top rebounder for the Broncos this season. Drmic and Marks check in with 17.6 ppg and 15.5 ppg, the latter handing out 60 assists and making 34 steals in order to pace BSU in those areas through 21 games.

Unable to catch a break even when at home, the Spartans took it on the chin when UNLV came calling a few nights back, the hosts coming up with just 46 points as they shot a dismal 28.8 percent from the floor, including 3-of-21 behind the 3-point line. Bryce Dejean-Jones and Deville Smith both tallied 13 points for the Runnin' Rebels, while Roscoe Smith logged another double-double with 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Like Watkins for the Broncos, Roscoe Smith is also averaging a double-double at the moment with 12.0 ppg and 12.3 rpg, the latter leading the nation according to UNLV sources. Dejean-Jones heads the scoring list for the program with 14.4 ppg and is also first in assists with 64, while Khem Birch (11.2 ppg and Kevin Olekaibe (10.1 ppg) help out at the offensive end. On defense, there's no team better than UNLV in defending the 3-pointer, holding foes to a measly 26.0 percent success rate.

The battle between Smith and Watkins in the paint should be an interesting one, but if the Broncos have to resort to shooting from the perimeter that might work right into the plans of the hosts.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UNLV 74, Boise State 68

02/01 10:17:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
Final
DET 2
ATL 4
Final
TAM 6
BAL 6
Final
PIT 18
PHI 4
Final
STL 6
WAS 2
Final
NYM 7
MIA 1
Final
CWS 1
CLE 4
Final
OAK 11
COL 2
Final
TEX 7
KAN 11
Final
SEA 5
ANA 3
Final
CIN 3
SDP 6
Final
CHC 8
SFG 5
Final
ARI 2
LOS 4
Final
HOU 4
TOR 7
9th
BOS 14
MIN 1
 
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
Final
PHI 111
LAL 113
 
Final
TOR 99
HOU 96
 
Final
ATL 101
MIL 88
 
4th
MEM 88
SAC 75
 
4th
MIN 75
UTA 97
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
PHO
Final
LOYC 65
LAMON 58
 
3rd
MON 3
TAM 4
 
3rd
STL 1
VAN 3
 
2nd
DAL 2
CAL 3
 
2nd
CHI 3
LOS 1
 
2nd
COL 1
EDM 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
BUF