Shaun Green had a double-double with 25 points and 15 boards in Utah's double overtime loss to UNLV in Las Vegas earlier this season.
Feb. 16, 2007
UTAH RUNNIN' UTES VS. UNLV RUNNIN' REBELS
Saturday, February 17, 2007 4:05 p.m. (MST)
Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) Salt Lake City
UTAH (9-15, 4-7) Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 At Utah: 53-35 (3rd Season) Career: 170-118 (10th Season)
UNLV (21-6, 8-4) Head Coach: Lon Kruger Alma Mater: Kansas State, 1975 At UNLV: 55-33 (3rd Season) Career: 373-266 (21st Season)
MEDIA COVERAGE Television: VERSUS DirecTV 608, Dish Network 151, Comcast-SLC 34 Tim Neverett (play-by-play), Craig Ehlo (analyst) Radio: Sports Radio 700 The Zone Bill Riley (play-by-play), Joe Cravens (analyst), Scott Gerrard (host) Internet Audio/Live Stats: www.UtahUtes.com Get Utah All-Access Here
THE SERIES Overall: Utah leads 18-16 Utah Home/Away/Neutral: 10-3/6-11/2-2 Current Streak: UNLV has won 3 Last Meeting: UNLV won 97-94 in overtime on Jan. 3, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nev.
QUICKLY ON UTAH
The Runnin' Utes (9-15, 4-7 MWC) host the UNLV Runnin' Rebels (21-6, 8-4 MWC) on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be televised nationally by VERSUS (DirecTV 608, Dish Network 151, Comcast 34 in Salt Lake City) and broadcast on Sports Radio 700 The Zone.
Utah had its two-game winning streak snapped with a 69-43 loss at No. 17 Air Force on Wednesday night. Before then, the Runnin' Utes opened the second half of their Mountain West Conference schedule with a 70-65 win at TCU on Feb. 3 and an 82-77 win over Colorado State at home on Feb. 7. Utah is 7-5 at home this season, 1-8 on opponents' home courts and 2-10 away from home overall.
Sophomore center Luke Nevill (7-1, 265) is the Utes' leading scorer (17.0 ppg) and rebounder (7.8 rpg). He is shooting 64.0 percent from the field, 76.9 percent from the free throw line, and also has a team-best 25 blocked shots. Junior guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 180) is second on the team in scoring (14.8 ppg), and has connected on 42.5 percent (71-for-167) of his 3-point attempts and 80.3 percent of his free throws. Bryant leads the team in assists (2.70 apg). Sophomore forward Shaun Green (6-8, 208) is third on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg), and is second in both assists (2.37 apg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). He is shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 54.9 percent (56-for-102) from 3-point range. Green also leads the Utes in steals (31) and is second in blocked shots (11).
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 12, Utah ranks fourth in 3-point percentage (42.3), 14th in field goal percentage (49.0), 82nd in 3-pointers made per game (7.5), 28th in free throw percentage (73.8) and 53rd in rebound margin (+4.1 rpg). Nevill is ninth in field goal percentage (64.2), 88th in points per game (17.1) and 79th in rebounds per game (7.9). Bryant ranks 32nd in 3-pointers made per game (3.0) and 39th in 3-point percentage (42.3). Green is out of the 3-point field goal rankings for the second consecutive week after falling below the minimum mark to qualify of 2.5 3-pointers made per game.
RUNNIN' UTE NOTABLES
Seven of the 13 Utes who have seen action this season are first-year players. Six of those players are freshmen. The nine freshmen and sophomores who have played account for 68.3 percent of Utah's points, 83.1 percent of its rebounds, 63.7 percent of its assists and 68.2 percent of its minutes.
Utah has won its last four games decided by six points or less after losing its first nine this season.
Eight of Utah's 15 losses have come by a combined 19 points. The Utes have lost three games by one point, four by three points and one by four points. Three of Utah's losses have been in overtime.
The Utes have shot at least 50 percent from 3-point range 10 times and at least 50 percent from the field 11 times in 23 games this season.
Utah is 1-9 this season when opponents shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 4-12 when they shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Utes are 7-0 when leading at halftime and 2-15 when they trail or are tied this season.
The Runnin' Rebels are 21-6 overall and in third place in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-4 record. UNLV is 6-5 on opponents' home courts and 6-6 away from home overall this season. Before losing at San Diego State 67-52 on Tuesday night, the Runnin' Rebels had won two in a row at home. UNLV defeated TCU 82-67 on Feb. 7 and Wyoming 80-70 on Feb. 10.
Senior forward Wendell White (6-6, 215) leads UNLV in scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg). Sophomore guard Wink Adams (6-0, 190) is second in scoring (14.7 ppg), second in assists (2.3 apg) and first in steals (44). Senior guard Kevin Kruger (6-2, 185) is the third Rebel averaging double-figures in points (12.3 ppg). Kruger is shooting 32.9 percent (49-for-149) from 3-point range and 81.6 percent from the free throw line. He also leads the team in assists (4.4 apg). Kevin is the son of UNLV head coach Lon Kruger and is in his first season on the court with the Rebels after transferring from Arizona State.
UNLV ranks third in the MWC in scoring offense (75.3 ppg), fourth in scoring defense (67.8 ppg), seventh in rebound margin (-0.3 rpg), first in turnover margin (+4.48) and first in blocked shots (5.52 bpg).
COMPARING THE NUMBERS
Utah UNLV Overall Record 9-15 21-5 MWC Record 4-7 8-4 Scoring 69.0 75.3 Scoring Defense 70.2 67.8 FG% .488 .442 FG% Defense .494 .432 3-Pt. FG% .418 .345 3-Pt. FG% Defense .449 .335 FT% .738 .700 Rebound Margin +3.8 -0.3 Assists 14.1 14.7 Turnovers 14.4 11.6 Opp. Turnovers 11.7 16.1 Steals 5.0 8.2 Blocked Shots 2.2 5.5
HEAD COACH LON KRUGER
A veteran of two decades as a head coach on the collegiate and professional levels, Lon Kruger took over as UNLV's head coach in 2004-05 after a four-year stint in the NBA. He is 55-33 in three seasons with the Rebels. Following an 18-year career as a successful college coach, Kruger spent three seasons (2000-03) as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and then part of the 2003-04 season as an assistant with the New York Knicks.
At the collegiate level, Kruger has compiled a 373-266 overall mark in 21 seasons as a head coach at Pan American (1982-86), Kansas State (1986-90), Florida (1990-96), Illinois (1996-2000) and UNLV. Kruger has piloted his teams to the postseason on 12 different occasions, with nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament and three in the NIT. He has compiled eight 20-plus victory seasons (including this year), was a two-time SEC Coach of the Year (1992 and 1994) and led his 1993-94 Florida squad to the NCAA Final Four.
UTAH VS. UNLV SERIES NOTES
Utah and UNLV meet for the 35th time on Saturday afternoon. The Utes lead the series 18-16 and have taken 12 of the last 18 games.
The Runnin' Utes have 10-3 edge in games played in Salt Lake City. Utah had won seven in a row over the Rebels at home before losing last season 71-59 on Jan. 21. It was UNLV's first win in Salt Lake City since prevailing 76-67 on Jan. 21, 1982 in a nonconference tilt.
UNLV has won three in a row in the series. The Rebels took both games against the Utes last season, winning 71-59 on Jan. 21 in Salt Lake City and 65-58 on Feb. 22 at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV took the first match-up this year 97-94 in double overtime on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas. It was the conference season opener for both teams.
Before UNLV's recent winning streak, the Utes had won six in a row over the Rebels--the longest winning streak by either team in the series.
In conference regular-season play, Utah has a 13-5 advantage, winning 10 of the last 14. Since both teams became members of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 10-5.
Ray Giacoletti is 3-3 against UNLV with all of those games coming during his tenure at Utah.
Lon Kruger is 3-4 against Utah. In addition to facing the U. six times as the head coach at UNLV, his Florida team lost to the Utes 81-78 on April 1, 1992 in the NIT Final Four.
UNLV's Kevin Kruger had a game-high 25 points to lead the Rebels to their 10th straight win, a 97-94 double-overtime victory over Utah on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas. It was the Mountain West Conference season opener for both teams.
Wendell White broke a 94-94 tie with 15 seconds to play, coming up with a steal and going the length of the court for a contested lay-in. Following a Utah miss, Kruger hit 1-of-2 foul shots and Utah's Shaun Green missed a 3-pointer on the game's last play.
The Rebels (14-2, 1-0) scored on three of their first four possessions of the first overtime, capped by a Kruger's second 3-pointer of the session with 2:22 to play. That gave UNLV an 87-79 lead, but Utah went on a 9-0 run to force a second overtime.
The game featured 15 ties and 14 lead changes.
Trailing 79-77, Utah freshman Stephen Weigh was fouled attempting a desperation 35-footer as time expired in regulation.
After the officials watched video replay for several minutes and put two-tenths of a second back on the clock, play was delayed again for roughly five minutes when an usher was hit with an object thrown from the stands.
When play resumed, Weigh missed his first free-throw attempt but sank the next two to force the overtime. He finished with 16 points.
Wink Adams added 23 points for the Rebels, including a 3-pointer with 58.1 seconds to play in regulation that broke a 76-76 tie.
Green finished with his first career double-double of 25 points and 15 rebounds--both career-highs--for Utah (5-9, 0-1). Johnnie Bryant made 5-of-9 3-pointers to score 23 points. It was the Utes third-straight loss.
Utah outshot UNLV 47.8 to 47.4 percent from the field and 82.6 to 53.6 percent at the free throw line. The Utes went 11-for-23 from 3-point range while the Rebels connected on 15-of-23 attempts. Utah had a 47 to 33 advantage on the boards. UNLV only had six turnovers to Utah's 17 and recorded 26 assists on 36 baskets.
The Runnin' Utes take on the Wyoming Cowboys on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6:05 p.m. (MST) in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised by The Mtn--MountainWest Sports Network. Utah then returns home to host the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 3:35 p.m. (MST).