LOGAN, Utah – UNLV’s road woes continued Tuesday night with a 83-65 loss at Utah State as the Rebels closed in on a rather dubious distinction.
Barring a perfect ending to Mountain West Conference play – home wins over Wyoming (21-6, 10-4) on Saturday and San Diego State (22-6, 12-3) on Wednesday, and a road win at San Jose State (2-24, 0-14) on March 7 – the Rebels (15-13, 6-9) will finish below .500 in league play for the first time since their days in the Big West Conference.
The last time UNLV finished under .500 in conference play was in Bill Bayno’s first year as head coach in 1995-96 when the Rebels finished 10-16 overall and 7-11 in the Big West. The following year UNLV moved into the WAC. The Rebels have finished under .500 in league play just three times in school history.
Guard Chris Smith scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half and Utah State (17-10, 10-5) used a late 20-4 to pull away as the Rebels fell to 3-8 in road games this season.
Darius Perkins and David Collette each added 17 points and Jalen Moore finished with 16 points for the Aggies who shot 54.4 percent, including 11-of-20 from 3-point range, en route to their fifth straight victory.
Patrick McCaw and Dwayne Morgan each scored 13 points and Christian Wood added 11 points and nine rebounds for UNLV, which led 38-35 at halftime but was outscored 48-27 in the second half. Morgan was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor.
UNLV, which remains a half-game ahead of New Mexico (14-14, 6-10) in seventh place in the Mountain West, returns to action on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. when its hosts Wyoming at the Thomas & Mack Center.
MyLVsports staff report