UNLV basketball:

Rebels slated to play South Dakota in neutral-site game

UNLV will play the Coyotes on Dec. 13 in Sioux Falls, S.D., about an hour away from their campus


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV coach Dave Rice calls a timeout against Fresno State, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV won 75-73 in overtime.

UNLV has added another date to its nonconference schedule, and this one’s a trip with a little extra meaning for two of the newest Rebels.

UNLV will play South Dakota on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m., it was announced today. The game will be played at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., which is about 60 miles north of South Dakota’s campus in Vermillion.

“It will allow us to continually expand the UNLV basketball brand as a national program,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said in a statement. “It will also give us a chance to have incoming freshman Rashad Vaughn play close to home in front of friends and family. We try to do this for all of our players during their careers.”

Vaughn is a Minnesota native and played the majority of his high school games there before transferring to Findlay Prep for his final season. UNLV previously set up a game like this with a trip to Portland early in 2012 for Mike Moser, who had to sit that one out with an injury.

It’s also a trip back to his home state for assistant coach Ryan Miller. Sioux Falls is about an hour’s drive from his hometown of Mitchell.

The Sanford Pentagon, a $19 million, 3,250-seat arena that opened in 2013, is trying to host at least one Division I basketball game per season. Last year it debuted with Wisconsin vs. St. John’s, and organizers reportedly paid $260,000 to those teams for their troubles. This year Wichita State and Memphis are set to meet on Nov. 18, with Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall telling CBSSports.com that both programs would receive “a lot of money to be there.”

UNLV’s matchup isn’t considered to be near the level of those other two nonconference games. Although the Rebels' nonconference schedule isn't completely finished, this matchup joins previously announced road trips to the Barclays Center in New York City (Nov. 21-22), at Arizona State (Dec. 3) and at Kansas (Jan. 4).

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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