LARAMIE, Wyo. – UNLV has been walking a dangerous tightrope during its Mountain West Conference road trips this season. Saturday afternoon at the Arena-Auditorium here, the Rebels finally fell off.
The 11th-ranked Runnin’ Rebels (21-4, 5-2) missed two shots in the final five seconds that would have forced their third straight road overtime game and dropped a 68-66 decision to Wyoming (18-5, 4-3).
Guard Anthony Marshall couldn’t finish a tough drive to the basket with five seconds to go and Mike Moser missed a long jumper from in front of the UNLV bench as the final buzzer sounded that caused a stampede of Wyoming fans onto the court.
“It was a well-played game,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “We just came up a little bit short at the end.”
UNLV had dodged a pair of potential road losses two weeks ago by rallying for overtime wins at Boise State (77-72) and Air Force (65-63). But on a day their two top scorers, Moser (11 points, 10 rebounds but just 4 of 12 from the floor) and Chace Stanback (2 points, 1 rebound, 0 for 2 FGs), struggled, the Rebels couldn’t get over the hump at the end this time.
“They’ve been very good all year long,” Rice said. “There are just certain nights that guys just don’t make shots. Mike’s been so good for us all year and Chace has been consistent as well. I’d be happy for those guys to get the same looks the next time that we play.”
Marshall, who finished 12 points and 6 rebounds, took the blame for the loss as soon as he got back to the locker room, Twittering to his followers: “That one’s on me. … I’ll take the L.
“I had an opportunity to make some things happen and I feel like I just didn’t come through like I was supposed to,” Marshall said. “I got to make that (last shot) no matter what. … I got to the rim and I had a chance at it and I just didn’t connect. Like I said, that one’s on me.”
Moser, who had just two points in the first half, said he thought his final shot, which came off a rebound by Quintrell Thomas (team-high 15 points), was going to send the game into overtime.
“Yeah, I thought it had a chance,” Moser said of the attempt just inside the 3-point line to the right of the basket. “I really just kind of rushed it. I didn’t how time was left.
“Offensively we just couldn’t get certain guys going,” Moser added. “I just couldn’t make a shot today.”
Meanwhile, Wyoming hurt the Rebels both inside – forward Leonard Washington (16) and center Adam Waddell (14) combined for 30 points – and outside. The Cowboys finished 7 of 22 from 3-point range, including 5 of 13 by guard Luke Martinez (15 points).
“The keys to this game were to limit their transition 3’s, keep them off the offensive boards and make them guard longer than they wanted to,” Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said. “I thought for the most part our guys did an excellent job of that.
“A lot of things had to go right for us tonight, and they did, but we also hit some key shots at key times.”
UNLV, which didn’t get to its hotel until 12:30 a.m. following a long day of travel, now has a week off to rest up before hosting Mountain West leader San Diego State at the Thomas & Mack Center.
To hear Dave Rice’s postgame press conference, click on the video below: