'Dogs, Rebels Set for Up Tempo Clash

Feb. 6, 2013

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By Andrew Rich and Stephen Trembley

FRESNO, Calif. - Coming off their bye, the Fresno State men's basketball team looks to snap its' four-game losing streak Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center against UNLV. This will be the 34th meeting between the old Western Athletic Conference rivals and the first since a non-conference game in 2008 in Fresno.

"UNLV is one of the most talented teams in our league that puts constant pressure on the basket and try to slow them in transition," Coach Rodney Terry said. "We've gotten better. Our team hsas definitely improved over the course of the year - both offensively and defensively. It just hasn't shown up in the win column yet. The next step for us is to finish games with the right kind of outcome."

Braeden Anderson is set to make his Bulldog-debut against the Rebels. The 6-9 freshman had to sit out the first 20 games due to his mid-year transfer and an NCAA ruling. He will provide another big body and another scoring option for Fresno State.

"We've tried to keep it simple for Braeden and told him to come in and do what you do in practice," Terry said. "We've giving him a couple moves in the post, but we just need him to come in and give us a motor, physicality and just play hard."

The 'Dogs (7-13, 1-6 Mountain West) are led by junior Tyler Johnson, who in his six Mountain West games has averaged 14.3 points a game. He is also second in the Mountain West in field goal percentage at 50%.

Kevin Olekaibe will be going against his hometown school. The junior from Las Vegas will enter the game Wednesday night coming off of one of his better performances on the year. Olekaibe nailed six three-pointers on his way to an 18-point effort against Air Force last week.

"UNLV has good players down through their whole bench," Olekaibe said. "They have a great point guard in Anthony Marshall, who I played against in high school. We have to put our will against their will."

Fresno State's calling card this year has been their defense. The `Dogs have given up just 61 points per game this season and has kept 16 of their 20 opponents under 70 points. Fresno State leads the Mountain West in steals per game, swiping 8.1 a contest. They are also second in three-point field goal percentage defense and third in blocked shots.

UNLV, an NCAA-tournament team a year ago, is the second-best scoring team in the Mountain West with 75.5 points a game. They are led by freshman standout Anthony Bennett, who leads the conference in scoring with 18.5 points a game. The Rebels are 17-5 overall and 4-3 in conference play. They have struggled away from the Thomas and Mack Center with all three conference losses coming on the road. They dropped a 77-72 contest against Boise State last Saturday.

"I think as a coaching staff that our approach that you only have a win or loss for one night," Terry said. "In college basketball, you have to keep an even keel. We are playing in one of the best conferences in the country and we will be tested every night."

"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" --- Fresno State's 4-Game Mini-Plan starts as low as $14 per game and can be purchased by calling 559-278-DOGS (Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.) or visiting www.gobulldogs.com/miniplan. For the February 6th home game against UNLV, ROCK YOUR FRESNO STATE COLORS by wearing your favorite Fresno State gear to the game.