RUNNIN’ REBELS OPEN CONFERENCE PLAY WITH THRILLING VICTORY

UNLV men’s basketball defeats Colorado State 78-76 to win Mountain West opener for first time in five years

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LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV men’s basketball team (7-6, 1-0) won its Mountain West opener for the first time in five seasons with a 78-76 thrilling victory over Colorado State Wednesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
 
A goaltending call with 1.2 seconds remaining gave the Runnin’ Rebels a two-point lead and Colorado State’s inbound pass was stolen to secure the win for UNLV.
 
The Runnin’ Rebels had five players score in double figures, led by senior guard Kris Clyburn and freshman forward Joel Ntambwe each with 17 points. UNLV also had three players with double-digit rebounds, led by freshman forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua and Clyburn each with 12.
 
CSU (5-9, 0-1) had three players score in double figures, led by Nico Carvacho’s 28 points and 20 rebounds.
 
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV overcame a double-digit deficit and was down eight with 4:47 to play, closing the game on a 13-3 run.
RUNNIN’ REBEL OF THE GAME: In his first career start, sophomore guard Amauri Hardy dished out a career-high nine assists with just one turnover. He also added 11 points on 5 of 10 shooting.
QUOTABLE: “1-0 to start the conference, we will take it. It wasn’t pretty but it doesn’t have to be when you get to conference play. You just have to be effective and show grit, energy and passion every game and I thought we did that tonight.” – UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies.
NOTES: 
– The last time UNLV started 1-0 in Mountain West play was during the 2013-14 season.
– Tchamwa Tchatchoua recorded career highs in points (13) and rebounds (12).
– UNLV shot just 25 percent from the field and 13.3 percent from 3-point range in the first half, but rebounded with efforts of 44.1 percent and 31.6 percent in the second half, respectively.
– The Runnin’ Rebels made 83.3 percent of their free throws for the game (20 of 24), compared to CSU’s 55.6 percent (10 of 18).
– CSU’s largest lead of the game was 11 (late in the first half).
– There were four lead changes and four ties throughout the game.
– CSU led 43-36 at halftime.
– UNLV has out-rebounded its opponent in all 13 of its games this season, including 53-40 vs. CSU.
– The win snapped a two-game losing streak for UNLV.
– UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,052 straight games.
 
NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will host Wyoming this Saturday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. Tickets may be purchased at UNLVtickets.com, by calling 702-739-FANS (3267) or at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office.