James Rahon had 22 points and Jamaal Franklin had 24 points to lead the San Diego State Aztecs to a last-second victory over the UNLV Runnin' Rebels on Saturday afternoon. Chase Tapley also added 11 points for the Aztecs, who took down the 12th ranked team in the country in epic fashion, as Jamaal Franklin made a fingeroll with 0.3 seconds remaining to break a 67-67 tie as time was running out.
The UNLV offense sputtered for almost the entire game, as the Runnin' Rebels got off to a 3-22 start against San Diego State. The only bright spot was Anthony Marshall, who single-handedly kept the Runnin' Rebels in the game in the final minutes of the game. Marshall had 26 points, 18 of those coming in the second half. Beyond Marshall, not a single Rebel was in double figures. Just about everybody who was expected to have a big impact on this game for UNLV didn't show up.This game ended up being a thriller, as the score was close throughout the second half, but that's not the way it should have been. UNLV played an absolutely terrible game offensively, shooting 35% from the field and 8-27 from behind the arc. They also missed 10 free throws, 10 free throws that turned out to have a very big impact on the game.
The first half was somewhat difficult to watch, as the score was moving at a snail's pace until the final five minutes of the half. In that time, UNLV closed a 24-14 gap down to a 34-29 deficit at halftime. Both teams had been playing fantastic defense and that was the story of the game so far.
The second half was more of a story of UNLV falling behind by anywhere between 5-8 points, only to claw their way back into a tie or short-lived lead. It seemed that whenever UNLV started to make a run, James Rahon or Jamaal Franklin would make a timely basket, which in turn energized the crowd, which in turn led the Aztecs to build another lead. This happened a few times before the final few baskets of the game.
With about three minutes remaining, Justin Hawkins hit a big three to tie the game at 62. That was followed up with an and-one by Jamaal Franklin to bring the lead back to three at 65-62. Brice Massamba then made a tough shot in traffic to bring the game within one with a little less then 2:30 remaining. Xavier Thames retaliated for his first points of the game to bring the lead back to three with only 2:00 remaining in the game.
After a timeout by UNLV and a couple of missed shots earlier in the possession, Brice Massamba hit yet another tough shot to bring the score to within a point. After a couple of quick sequences, Massamba was headed back to the line with 23 seconds remaining. He missed the first but hit the second, tying the game at 67. On San Diego State's final possession, the Aztecs ran the clock down, got the ball to Jamaal Franklin, and let him make a fingeroll with 0.3 seconds left. That just about the sealed UNLV's fate, but Mike Moser squandered UNLV's final chance by stepping over the endline before even inbounding the ball.