Royce Hamm’s crucial block with three seconds remaining sealed a 64-62 victory for UNLV over the Bison of North Dakota State on Monday night at the Thomas and Mack. Hamm also had 17 rebounds, tying a career-high. Bryce Hamilton lead all scorers for the third game in a row with 17 points, Donovan Williams added 15 solid points off the bench for UNLV (3-0). Jordan McCabe also tallied 13.
North Dakota State (2-1) was led by Rocky Kreuser’s double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Maleeck Harden-Hayes also scored in double figures with 12. This was the second all-time meeting between these teams, with UNLV winning both.
After the game, UNLV coach Kevin Kruger said he was proud of what his team accomplished against a tough Bison team.
“We are proud of the way that they continue to fight and grit it out,” Kruger said. “North Dakota State is a nightmare of a matchup from a scouting standpoint with Kreuser and (Grant) Nelson and what they can do. Royce did an unbelievable job.”
“Just really happy for them and really proud of them because we feel like they’re guys that deserve it. So to come out on top in three close games when we could have lost all three, it’s just a good feeling.”
UNLV held its opponents to 38.3% or less shooting in each of the first three games of the year, while only turning the ball over eight times. The Rebels will have a chance to win every game with performances that solid.
The Rebels will now take on 4th ranked Michigan as part of the Roman Main Event at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night. Wichita State and Arizona clash in the other matchup. Winners and losers of Friday’s games will meet Sunday to finish off the event. Tip time for UNLV’s game against the Wolverines is set for 9:30 PM Pacific on ESPN2.
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