Feb. 6, 2013
By Andrew Rich
By Andrew Rich
FRESNO, Calif. - Playing against his hometown school, Kevin Olekaibe scored 21 points to lead the Fresno State men's basketball team to a 64-55 win over UNLV Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center. The 55 points were the lowest offensive output of the season and the win was just the Bulldogs' 7th in 34 tries against the Rebels.
Olekaibe, a Las Vegas native, continued his hot-shooting streak. A week after hitting six of eight three-pointers against Air Force, the junior made four of seven on his way to a season-high in points.
Tyler Johnson, Kevin Foster and Allen Huddleston also joined Olekiabe in double-figures. Johnson finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The 10 rebounds tied a career-high for Johnson. Foster played a big role inside, helping shut down the powerful UNLV frontline, while also scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Huddleston was again steady coming off the bench. He scored 11 points and made key free throws late to help put the game away.
Tied at 24 at halftime, Fresno State came out of the locker room on fire. Over the first ten and a half minutes of the second half the Bulldogs outscored the Rebels 25-9 which made it 49-33, giving the `Dogs their largest lead of the game.
The Rebels would cut the Fresno State lead to 54-48, but the `Dogs made 10 of 16 free throws over the final 2:43 to put UNLV away.
The win snapped Fresno State's four-game losing streak. It was a streak that had featured large discrepancies at the free-throw line between the `Dogs and their opponents. Wednesday night, that trend changed. The Rebels shot 81% at the line, but were just 9 of 11. Meanwhile, Fresno State made 19 of 30 attempts.
Fresno State, which came into the game with the third best scoring defense in the Mountain West Conference, held UNLV, the second-highest scoring team in the league, to its lowest point total of the year. Before tonight, the Rebels' low was 60 against New Mexico. They entered the contest scoring 75.5 points a game. UNLV was just 4 of 21 from three-point range.
The `Dogs are back in action Saturday when they travel south to take on (RV/25) San Diego State. The 3 p.m. start will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" --- Tickets for the Bulldogs' three remaining home games can be purchased by calling 559-278-DOGS (Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.) or visiting www.gobulldogs.com.
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