Anthony Marshall remembers the last time Colorado State played UNLV at the Thomas & Mack Center. And it isn’t a very pleasant memory.
The Rams, who were 12-point underdogs on Jan. 19, 2011, handed a lethargic Rebel squad one of the worse losses of the Lon Kruger era, a 78-63 setback that featured more than its share of boos for the home team from frustrated fans.
“That was very upsetting for us,” Marshall said. “The crowd wasn’t pleased with us and we weren’t pleased with our effort at all. They just out-hustled us and out-worked us that game. We can’t let that happen this year.”
Not if the 11th-ranked Rebels (20-3, 4-1) want to claim their first Mountain West title in over a decade.
UNLV hosts Colorado State (14-6, 3-2) on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Rams coach Tim Miles, who called last year’s upset of the Rebels “a great signature win for our kids”, picked up another one last Saturday when CSU thumped San Diego State, 77-60, in Fort Collins to move back within a game of first place.
UNLV is 12-0 at the Thomas & Mack this year and can’t afford a home loss if its wants to keep pace with the 17th-ranked Aztecs (18-3, 4-1) who have two very winnable home games this week in Boise State (10-10, 0-5) and TCU (12-8, 2-3).
As ugly as last year’s loss to the Rams was – the Tre’Von Willis-less Rebels finished just 2-of-15 on 3-pointers and were outscored 13-2 late in crunch time – senior forward Chace Stanback said he is approaching the game no differently than any other contest UNLV has played this season.
When asked if Colorado State was a game the Rebels had circled, Stanback replied, “Every game we have is circled.”
Still, Stanback admits that last year’s loss to the Rams “was devastating.
“They came out hard and we weren’t really prepared for what they brought us, and we suffered the consequences,” Stanback said. “The consequences were severe but we’ve got an opportunity now to reverse that.”
Hear more from Marshall and Stanback about playing Colorado State in the video below.