No. 21 UNLV 62, UTEP 60

UNLV is finding out how tough college basketball on the road can
be.

The 21st-ranked Runnin’ Rebels led by 15 points in the second
half then had to wait for a final shot by UTEP to miss before
beating the Miners 62-60 on Monday night.

”It came down to the last shot,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said.
”We have to do a much better job of keeping our composure when we
are challenged on the road . we were challenged today and there are
lessons to be learned and yet not to lose the game to a good team
is a credit to our guys.”

Bryce DeJean-Jones scored 12 points and Anthony Marshall added
11 for UNLV.

Jaques Streeter scored with 27 seconds left to cut UNLV’s lead
to two points. DeJean-Jones had an opportunity to make it a
two-possession game but missed two free throws with 15 seconds
left.

Konner Tucker had a last-second opportunity for the Miners after
taking an inbounds pass from the far sideline for a 3-point attempt
which bounced up and off the rim.

”I liked the look we got late from Konner but we didn’t get it
down,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. ”Tucker hasn’t been practicing
with us and so our inbounds plays that we run, and I think we
execute them well, we couldn’t execute them.

”We just drew up something that we knew we could get a look,
regardless, and I like the look that we got,” Floyd said.

UNLV shot 44.9 percent from the field and made 10 of 18 free
throws, seven in the second half. The Runnin’ Rebels were 8 for 17
from 3-point range, hitting six in the first half.

”As a coaching staff, we knew coming into the game that we
would see a lot of different defenses, triangle-and-two, box-and
one and zone, so it’s always difficult to prepare for UTEP,” Rice
said. ”For us, it was just about trying to maintain our rhythm and
taking good shots.”

Katin Reinhardt scored 10 points for UNLV (9-1), which had a
17-2 run in the first half and still led by as many as 15 points in
the second half before the Miners started their closing run.
Anthony Bennett added 10 points – nine in the second half – for
UNLV.

Julian Washburn had 13 points and Tucker, playing in his first
game at UTEP, added 12.

”We had the luxury of adding a lot of new pieces but at the
same time it kind of messes up the rotation with guys coming in,”
Marshall said. ”Tonight we just found a way (to win). Any time
you’re playing against a great team on the road, it’s going to be
tough.

Momentum shifted toward UTEP after an altercation near the UNLV
bench. After officials reviewed tape, DeJean-Jones was assessed a
dead-ball technical with 10:05 left in the game. C.J. Cooper missed
the free throw and UNLV held the big lead for another couple of
minutes before UTEP slowly worked the deficit down thanks to a
clutch 3 from John Bohannon before the shot-clock buzzer and free
throws from Streeter and Tucker down the stretch.

”They certainly started shooting better but we lost our focus
in the second half on the defensive end, which is unusual for us,”
Rice said. ”I was actually pleased with us on the offensive end in
the second half.”

Floyd said the difference came early.

”I feel like that game was lost in the first half,” Floyd
said. ”We just played really foolish offensively, really turned
the ball over, started isolating Bohannon from the 3-point line,
from the lane and I don’t know where that came from. As a result we
started standing, got on our heels and got outscored by 22
points.”