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UNLV Wins and Derrick Jones Still Out (But Can Practice)

The Rebels squeak their way by Air Force in a thrilling game dominated by foul calls down the stretch. UNLV comes out with a win 108-102. The good news for the Rebels, Derrick Jones is back; the bad news, he can only practice.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Today, a three hour game took place between the beleaguered Runnin' Rebels and the Air Force Falcons.  Since it went into overtime (three of them), many individual players set tournament records.  The Rebels, predictably won.  However, the Falcons made it a much harder victory than most fans anticipated.

UNLV was helped by Ike Nwamu who scored a career high of 38 points while Patrick McCaw poured in 27 of his own along with 14 rebounds.  Meanwhile, Jerome Seagears, whom many thought may not appear this afternoon, played through injury and muscle cramping to continue to serve as an efficient point guard.

The Falcons, after trailing in much of the first half, overcame their deficit to tie the game at half time. And that seemed to be the theme of the remainder of the game.  Each team scored 38 by the end of the first half.  Each scored 31 more points by the end of the second.  And after Jordan Cornish made an ill-timed foul while Jacob Van attempted a three point shot, the game went into its third overtime.

Despite 37 points by Van, UNLV pulled away at the end.  Now, the Rebs take on pesky Fresno State tomorrow.  Outside of their victory, some good news came on the Derrick Jones front.

Jones, the Rebels' second leading scorer this year, was ruled ineligible to compete last week by the NCAA due to canceled ACT scores.  Now, as the Las Vegas Review Journal reported, Jones can receive his scholarship money as well as practice with the team.  However, he still cannot play.  According to writer Mark Anderson, UNLV is still appealing this decision.

No doubt gassed, UNLV will face the Bulldogs with only one significant post presence, Stephen Zimmerman (unless Dwayne Morgan returns tomorrow).  As they proved this afternoon, they are willing to grind until the very end, but will there be enough gas left in the tank to take on a more talented squad than they faced today in just 24 hours?