(11-2, 3-1 away)

(11) Kansas St 59

(9-3, 6-1 home)

Coverage: ESPN2/WatchESPN

9:00 PM ET, December 21, 2010

Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri

1 2 T
UNLV 32 3163
#11KSU 34 2559

Top Performers

UNLV: T. Willis 16 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast

Kansas St: R. McGruder 11 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

UNLV-Kansas St. Preview


Kansas State and UNLV each suffered a loss to an unranked opponent last week and the Rebels fell out of the Top 25 as a result.

The 11th-ranked Wildcats, who dropped five spots in the poll, hope to bounce back by beating UNLV for the second straight season on Tuesday night at Kansas City's Sprint Center.

Kansas State (9-2) is looking to rebound from its worst offensive performance in nearly five years. The Wildcats fell 57-44 to Florida on Saturday, scoring their fewest points since a 57-42 defeat to Nebraska on Jan. 11, 2006.

Kansas State shot 27.3 percent against the Gators and while Jacob Pullen scored 19 points, no one else had more than eight. The team led by three points at the half, but was 6 of 27 from the field after the break, at one point making only one basket during an 18-minute stretch.

"We were executing and getting shots and doing the things we talked about trying to do, and the ball didn't go in the basket," coach Frank Martin said. "And then it broke our spirit."

Pullen shot 6 of 17 while the rest of the starters combined to make 3 of 18 shots.

While it was an especially poor performance, the Wildcats have struggled shooting all month. They've averaged 66.0 points and shot 37.9 percent the last four games after averaging 77.4 points on 46.9-percent shooting over seven November contests.

"We will regroup," Martin said, "or guys won't be wearing our uniform."

Pullen, who is averaging a team-high 16.5 points but shooting 40.0 percent, will try to bounce back against UNLV after scoring 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting the last time the teams met Dec. 12, 2009. Kansas State won that game 95-80 in Las Vegas, going 14 of 23 from 3-point range. Pullen hit seven of his 10 shots from beyond the arc.

As frustrating of a weekend as it was for the Wildcats, it was an even worse week for the Rebels (10-2), who snapped a two-game losing streak with a 72-50 win over Southern Utah on Saturday but fell out of the Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 22.

UNLV, which started the season 9-0 for the first time in 20 years, was coming off a 77-69 loss at then-No. 24 Louisville on Dec. 11 and a 68-62 home defeat to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday in which the Rebels shot 29.0 percent.

They bounced back Saturday, outscoring the Thunderbirds 37-18 in the first half, then shooting 50.0 percent after the break.

Anthony Marshall scored a career-high 17 points and freshman Carlos Lopez had season highs of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"Any time you lose a couple you want to bounce back and not only win a game but play better," coach Lon Kruger said. "I thought we were pretty sharp defensively ... and moved the ball offensively."

Kruger played at Kansas State from 1971-74. He also served as an assistant coach from 1979-82 and head coach from 1986-90.

UNLV was ranked 18th last season when it lost to Kansas State, which was the first meeting between the teams since the 1987 NCAA tournament.

"It was a pretty tough game last year and we expect the same this year," Marshall said. "We believe (we can beat them). They're a good ball club. We can't have costly turnovers that will allow the crowd to get into the game. We have to take the crowd out."

Kansas State also played at the Sprint Center last month, beating then-No. 22 Gonzaga before losing to top-ranked Duke in the CBE Classic final.


School Info

Conference Mountain West Big 12
Nickname Rebels Wildcats
Type Public Public

2010-11 Season

» Dec 21, 2010 UNLV 63, @KSU 59Recap