The UNLV men’s basketball team secured their seventh win in their last eight games at the Thomas & Mack Center, as they recorded their second win against Air Force, with a 69-64 victory Monday night.
"We knew coming into this series with a younger group, guarding some of their actions was going to be challenging for our guys to stay the course for longer defensive possessions,” Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “I felt like there were times tonight we were good defensively and there were others when there were things we could have done better.”
The Runnin Rebels shot 60.9% from the field in the second half, with David Jenkins Jr shooting 20 of his 26 points for the game, leading the team to victory. Jenkins made 6 out of his 8 shots from behind the arc.
"It’s difficult playing these teams back to back, especially when it’s just a day between,” Jenkins said. “We know that teams are going to come back that much harder and that much more physical, and we need to match their energy and physicalness as well.”
Bryce Hamilton was the only other UNLV player to score in double figures, as he contributed 14 points on 7 of 9 from the floor. His playing time was limited late in the game, after he picked up his fourth foul with 13:25 to go.
Trailing by a point with 8:55 to go (47-46), UNLV used an 8-0 run for a little separation and led 54-47 with 6:11 to play. Air Force cut it to four points twice with under two minutes to go, but UNLV stayed strong and held onto the lead until the final buzzer.
UNLV will now head back out on the road, to play at Boise State for a two-game series on Thursday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 13. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. PT. Thursday's game will air on CBS Sports Network, while FS1 will carry Saturday’s contest. Both games may be heard on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.