Mooring leads Rebels to wild double overtime win over Air Force

They might not be the two best teams in the Mountain West Conference but Air Force and UNLV certainly know how to put on a good show when they get together at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Just a little over nine months after the Runnin’ Rebels needed three overtimes to put away the Falcons, 108-102, in a wild first round game in the Mountain West Tournament, UNLV (10-10, 3-4 MW) needed two more overtimes following a game-tying, buzzer-beating 3-pointer by point guard Javon Mooring at the end of regulation to defeat Air Force, 87-85, on Saturday afternoon.

Mooring finished with a career-high 30 points and connected on 7-of-14 3-pointers, including an off-balanced 30-footer from in front Gucci Row that banked in to send the contest into overtime.

“The play wasn’t originally for me but once I got it I knew we had to get a shot,” Mooring said. “I was lucky enough for it to go off the backboard. I’ll take it anytime.”

See video of Mooring’s big shot below:

The Rebels appeared to have the game won after another long Mooring 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left in overtime gave them a 70-67 lead. But Air Force guard Jacob Van answered with his own buzzer-beating 3-pointer that also banked in to force a second overtime.

Check out Van’s shot in the video below:

“That one could have been a little deflating,” UNLV coach Marvin Menzies said. “I saw the guys kind of drop but I had some choice words for them and kind of got into them a little bit. And then they came back with some energy and did a pretty good defensively down the stretch.”

Mooring scored eight points in the second overtime, including a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds to go that sealed it. Those two free throws, which gave UNLV a 87-82 lead, became even more magnified when Van hit another 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“That was just a fun game to coach, a fun game to watch I’m sure,” Menzies said. “Nerve-wracking but nothing like winning, man. At the end of the game you’ve just got find a way to grind it out.”

WHO STOOD OUT: Although he was only 8-of-21 from the field and had five turnovers, Mooring more than made up for it with his long-distance shooting, connecting on 7-of-14 3-pointers including the clutch buzzer-beater to force overtime. He also had six assists, five rebounds and three steals.

QUOTES TO NOTE:

“The play wasn’t originally for me but once I got it I knew we had to get a shot. I was lucky enough for it to go off the backboard. I’ll take it anytime.” – UNLV point guard Jovan Mooring on his game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation.

“He’s a winner. That’s what he does. He makes shots when you need him to make shots.” – UNLV coach Marvin Menzies on Mooring

UP NEXT: The Rebels begin a two-game road trip on Wednesday night at Wyoming. The 6 p.m. contest will be streamed on UNLVRebels.com.

NOTABLE: UNLV won despite shooting just 33.8 percent from the field, including a dreadful 21.9 percent (7-of-32) in the second half. … Air Force had several chances to put the game away in the regulation at the free throw line but made just 15 of 27 (55.6 percent) at the foul line. … The Falcons had a 17-0 run early in the second half, holding the Rebels without a point for six minutes and 15 seconds. … UNLV finished with 21 assists on its 26 baskets. … The game featured 10 ties and 15 lead changes. … Both teams committed 10 turnovers but the Rebels took better advantage of Air Force’s miscues, finishing with a 19-11 edge in points off turnovers. … Forward Hayden Graham led Air Force with 22 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out midway through the second overtime. … UNLV moved into a tie for seventh place with Wyoming (13-7, 3-4) in the Mountain West with the win while Air Force (9-11, 2-5) dropped into a three-way tie for last place with San Jose State and Utah State.

Click on graphic below for final stats:

screen-shot-2017-01-21-at-5-43-30-pm

Related Articles

Share

About Author

(0) Readers Comments

Leave a Reply