Bryce Hamilton landed the dagger shot with a minute to play, clinching UNLV’s 69-58 win over UNR.
It’s the first time Hamilton, a senior guard, has beaten the Scarlet and Gray’s in-state rival. Hamilton didn’t have a great shooting night (6-of-17), but he came up big down the stretch and finished with 17 points, tying him with Donovan Williams as the team’s high scorer.
UNLV now has a bit of momentum, with two straight wins pushing their record to 13-9 and 5-4 in Mountain West play.
Jordan McCabe hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 points, while Mike Nuga chipped in 10 points. Royce Hamm posted nine points and eight rebounds.
Kevin Kruger will be happy with UNLV’s defensive effort. UNR connected on just 19-of-55 from the field (34.5%) and UNLV forced 11 turnovers.
UNLV will now have three days off before traveling to face Utah State on Saturday.
UNLV extends lead over UNR to 58-45
A 7-0 spurt by UNLV has afforded some breathing room, and with 6:37 remaining the Scarlet and Gray have a 58-45 lead over UNR.
Donovan Williams got things started with a clutch 3-pointer, and Royce Hamm followed that up by running the floor and getting good position for a post bucket. After a defensive stop, Bryce Hamilton dribbled up the floor, split two defenders with a spin move and converted a feathery finger roll.
Hamilton now has 13 points, while Williams has a team-high 15.
Barring a collapse, it looks like Hamilton is six minutes away from his first career win over the Wolf Pack.
UNLV leads UNR, 51-43
UNLV has not been able to shake UNR, and with 10:26 remaining the Scarlet and Gray’s lead has been trimmed to 51-43.
UNR opened the second half with a 9-2 run as UNLV connected on just two field goals over the first nine minutes. Jordan McCabe just made a 3-pointer, so perhaps that will loosen up the rims a bit. McCabe now has a team-high 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting (4-of-7 3FGs).
UNR big man Will Baker has been a problem, as UNLV post defenders haven’t been able to bother his turnaround hook shot. Baker is leading the Wolf Pack with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
UNLV leads UNR at half, 42-26
UNLV closed the half strong and has taken a 42-26 lead over UNR into the locker room.
Bryce Hamilton, Donovan Williams and Jordan McCabe have done all the scoring, as they’ve each tallied 11 points. As a team UNLV has hit 9-of-23 from 3-point range, with Hamilton hitting two and Williams and McCabe knocking down three apiece.
Before the game, Kevin Kruger said he wanted UNLV to set a tone with its defense, and that’s exactly what the Scarlet and Gray have done so far. They’ve limited UNR to 7-of-27 in the first half, with one of the makes being a mid-court heave to beat the halftime buzzer. Desmond Cambridge is leading the Wolf Pack with eight points, but he’s just 2-of-11 from the field.
UNLV couldn’t have scripted a better 20 minutes to start this one.
UNLV races to 21-12 lead over UNR
The Thomas & Mack Center is rocking as UNLV has run out to a 21-12 lead over UNR with 7:11 remaining in the first half.
Freshman guard Keshon Gilbert got things going by stripping the ball at midcourt twice in succession, with the second steal leading to a thunderous breakaway dunk by Donovan Williams. UNR coach Steve Alford called timeout to stop the bleeding, and the student section — which is full for the first time this season — stayed loud throughout the stoppage.
Things are going well for UNLV. The Scarlet and Gray have held UNR to 3-of-17 from the field (17.6%), and Jordan McCabe has knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to give him a game-high eight points. Williams has five points already in his return to action.
UNLV, UNR tied in opening minutes
This rivalry game hasn’t exactly started out with a bang, as we’re tied, 4-4, with 15:54 remaining in the first half.
That score may be changed to 4-2 in favor of UNR after the timeout, as UNLV’s lone field goal came via a Jordan McCabe floater that might have come after the shot-clock buzzer. The referees are reviewing during the timeout.
Bryce Hamilton has missed his first two shots (both 3-pointers) and picked up a charge on his lone foray into the lane. It’s safe to say UNR is focused on bracketing him tonight.
On the injury front, Donovan Williams went through pregame warmups and could be available tonight, but he was not in the starting lineup. On the other side, UNR leading scorer Grant Sherfield is out due to a foot injury.
UNLV looks for first win over UNR since 2018
Coming off the best win of the season — and the first signature win of Kevin Kruger’s tenure as head coach — UNLV will try to follow up its dismantling of Colorado State by beating in-state rival UNR today (7:30 p.m., FS1).
Toppling the Wolf Pack for the first time since the 2017-18 season would constitute another “big” win for this UNLV squad. Three keys to watch:
UNLV received some good news at practice on Monday, as junior guard Josh Baker was a full participant and has been cleared to play against UNR. Baker is a starter and an essential glue guy for the Scarlet and Gray, and now that he has recovered from the concussion that kept him out since Jan. 17, he should play a key role in defending UNR top scorers Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge.
There’s a chance UNLV could receive further fortification before tipoff, as junior wing Donovan Williams is set to be a game-time decision. Williams has become the team’s No. 2 scoring option (13.9 points per game) but is battling a knee injury that kept him out against San Jose State and Colorado State and limited him to nine minutes against San Diego State.
Kruger said there is no structural damage with Williams’ knee and that he could be cleared to play against UNR.
Playing on the road at Colorado State in the most hostile environment they’ve faced this season, the Scarlet and Gray opened with a haymaker — on defense. Through the first four-plus minutes, UNLV held CSU to 0-of-6 from the field while forcing two turnovers. For the first half, the Rams shot just 32.1% and UNLV built a commanding 43-25 advantage at the break.
Kruger credited that defensive performance with laying the foundation for a huge win, and he wants to see a similar intensity against UNR.
“They set the tone early,” Kruger said. “Defensively they set the tone that we were going to guard, we were going to do our best to make them work for everything they had and at the end of the first half it showed.”
Hamilton’s hot streak
Over his last four games, Bryce Hamilton is averaging a ridiculous 32.5 points. He has topped 30 in three of those contests, including a 42-point explosion at Colorado State. So, can he keep it going tonight?
Hamilton certainly hopes so, but more than anything he wants to win. The senior guard has yet to score a victory over UNR during his four years in Las Vegas, so whether it takes four points or forty points, Hamilton will judge his performance by whether or not UNLV comes out on top.
What: UNLV (12-9, 4-4 MWC) vs. UNR (9-9, 3-4 MWC)
When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Line: UNLV -1.5
Scoring: Bryce Hamilton, 21.0 points
Rebounding: Royce Hamm, 9.5 rebounds
Assists: Jordan McCabe, 4.6 assists
Scoring: Grant Sherfield, 18.3 points
Rebounding: Warren Washington, 6.2 rebounds
Assists: Grant Sherfield, 6.2 assists
OnMyWay Is The #1 Distracted Driving Mobile App In The Nation!
OnMyWay, based in Charleston, SC, The Only Mobile App That Pays its Users Not to Text and Drive.
The #1 cause of death among young adults ages 16-27 is Car Accidents, with the majority related to Distracted Driving.
OnMyWay’s mission is to reverse this epidemic through positive rewards. Users get paid for every mile they do not text and drive and can refer their friends to get compensated for them as well.
The money earned can then be used for Cash Cards, Gift Cards, Travel Deals and Much, Much More….
The company also makes it a point to let users know that OnMyWay does NOT sell users data and only tracks them for purposes of providing a better experience while using the app.
The OnMyWay app is free to download and is currently available on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android @ OnMyWay; Drive Safe, Get Paid.
Download App Now – https://r.onmyway.com
Sponsors and advertisers can contact the company directly through their website @ www.onmyway.com.