After a big two game win streak from the Rebels, knocking down Colorado State and Nevada, came up short to Utah State in a Mountain West showdown on Saturday. UNLV had every chance to win this game, but just couldn’t pull through.
Both teams came out hot, hitting multiple three point shots before the 15 minute mark of the first half. UNLV lead 12-10 with 14:45 left to go in the half.
Utah State tied the game up with about 10 minutes left in the half. Guard Jordan McCabe hit a deep three as the shot clock buzzer rang out to put the Rebels up 19-16. He also had a great assist to David Muoka on the next possession.
The Runnin’ Rebels never ran away with the game because the Aggies were able to stick with them throughout the first half. With 3:21 left in the half, Utah State forward Justin Bean hit a tie-breaking shot from behind the arc to put the Aggies up for the first time since the beginning of the half. Aggies led 31-29.
After going down 37-32 with under two minutes left, UNLV made a 6-0 run to put them back in contention going up 38-37. However, the lead was not held for long with Aggie forward Brandon Horvath hitting a buzzer beater three to put the Aggies up 40-38 going into the second half.
The start of the second half was all Aggies. They started with a 5-0 a minute into the half after a baseline drive that ended in a Horvath dunk. After the Aggies went up 47-38, the first Rebels points came from a three from Bryce Hamilton. The next Rebel points came from Keshon Gilbert after he hit a shot from behind the arc. The Rebels were back within three points.
The roles were reversed in the first part of the second half with the Rebels trailing just barely to the Aggies. It was not going to end the same, however. The Aggies started pulling away after a Justin Bean backdoor pass to the rim that ended in a dunk by guard Sean Bairstow.
The Aggies had their biggest lead of the night going up 70-55 about 6 minutes left in the game. They held that until the end of the game beating the Runnin’ Rebels 90-75. The Rebels attempted a comeback with big threes by Jordan McCabe and Bryce Hamilton, but they could not chip away at the deficit.
Utah State is now on a five game win-streak.
Bryce Hamilton and Jordan McCabe played almost the whole game, but their valiant efforts could not get the Rebels a road win. Hamilton had 5 boards, 3 assists and 33 points with McCabe having 8 assists and 13 points.
UNLV next game is back at home at the Thomas & Mack Arena against Air Force on Tuesday at 7 PM PST.