UNLV fell behind a hot-shooting Boise State team by 10 points midway through the second half on Tuesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Earlier in the season that might have been cause for panic. But not anymore according to senior point guard Anthony Marshall after the Runnin’ Rebels rallied for their fifth straight victory, 68-64.
“We’re growing up,” Marshall, who along with freshman guard Katin Reinhardt helped fuel a late 18-5 run to pull it out, said. “Earlier in the year, tough games like this, we probably wouldn’t have battled back like the way we did.
“I feel like we’re growing up. We’re making a good run right now. We’re just trying to keep this momentum going.”
(STORY CONTINUES BELOW)
Marshall finished with 16 points, including eight during the final game-deciding run, to go along with seven assists, five rebounds and no turnovers. His dribble penetration also took its toll on Boise State’s talented backcourt of Derrick Marks (four points, seven turnovers) and Anthony Drmic (22 points, 3-of-5 3-pointers), both of whom fouled out trying to guard the 6-foot-3 senior from Mojave High School.
Freshman Katin Reinhardt scored 11 points for UNLV (23-7, 10-5), including a dagger 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining that hit the front of the rim, bounced up, kissed the backboard and came back down through the net to up the Rebels’ lead to 66-61. (See highlight video package above).
“It felt great, I knew it was going in,” Reinhardt said with a smile.
Sophomore guard Bryce Dejean-Jones continued his outstanding play with 16 points, five assists, two steals and no turnovers while freshman forward Anthony Bennett added 11 points and was a huge defense force down the stretch (see highlight video above), blocking four shots and grabbing eight rebounds, including seemingly every big board down the stretch.
Boise State (20-9, 8-7) lost for the first time in five games despite connecting on 13-of-25 3-pointers (52 percent) and outrebounding the Rebels, 33-32. But the Rebels, thanks to Marshall’s scoring and passing at the point, dominated inside, finishing with a 28-14 edge in points in the paint.
“Boise’s a great team, an NCAA Tournament team,” Marshall said. “But I felt like that this was a team that we could really attack the rim and get to the rim on, and try to create out that. I put it upon myself try to get into the lane and make some things happen. … When we got down I tried to put the team on my back and get more aggressive.”
(Hear more what Marshall and Reinhardt had to say in the video below)
UNLV moved a half-game in front of Colorado State (22-7, 9-5), which plays at Wyoming (18-11, 4-11) on Wednesday night, in the battle for second place in the Mountain West. The Rebels can clinch that spot in the standings as well as the No. 2 seed next week’s Mountain West tournament with a win over Fresno State (10-18, 4-11) on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack.