Blog: Rebels fall to UNR in overtime

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Steve Marcus

UNLV’s Marvin Coleman (31) reacts after the Rebels’ 79-82 overtime loss to UNR at the Thomas & Mack Center Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

Published Wed, Feb 12, 2020 (6 p.m.)

Updated Wed, Feb 12, 2020 (9:19 p.m.)

UNLV had its chances, but poor shooting from the arc and the free-throw line doomed the Rebels in an 82-79 overtime loss to UNR.

The Rebels trailed by two points with 10 seconds left when Bryce Hamilton got a great look at a 3-pointer from the wing, but the shot missed and UNR came down with the rebound. Jalen Harris went to the stripe and hit one of two; UNLV advanced the ball quickly to midcourt, but Elijah Mitrou-Long's deep heave caught nothing but glass as the buzzer sounded.

UNLV finished the game 9-of-39 from 3-point range (23.1 percent) and 12-of-25 from the free-throw line.

Harris led UNR with 29 points, while Hamilton scored 23 for UNLV.

UNLV drops to 12-14 on the season and 7-6 in Mountain West play. The Rebels will next travel to New Mexico on Saturday.

Overtime for UNLV and UNR

Marvin Coleman came up clutch again, this time on the defensive end, and UNLV and UNR are heading to overtime tied at 74-74.

UNR had the final possession and held for last shot, and Jalen Harris had a pretty good look as he drove the lane. But Coleman swatted the shot and time ran out as the teams scrambled for the loose ball. It was Coleman's second block of the game.

Harris has 24 points, while Bryce Hamilton leads UNLV with 23.

Rebels, UNR tied late

UNLV and UNR are tied, 64-64 with 3:02 to play, and Nick Blair will head to the free-throw line to shoot a pair after he was fouled grabbing a defensive rebound.

The Rebels have gone cold offensively in recent minutes, with Bryce Hamilton and Amauri Hardy missing inside and Marvin Coleman missing a 3, so it's probably a good thing for UNLV that Blair will have a chance to put them ahead from the stripe.

The Rebels are shooting just 29.4 percent in the second half, including 2-of-16 from 3-point range, so this game may very well come down to how many shots they can make in the final minutes as UNR continues to crank up its defense.

Rebels surge ahead of UNR in second half

Jonah Antonio just scored on a breakaway layup to give UNLV its first lead of the second half, 50-49 with 11:27 to play.

The junior guard checked in early in the half and immediately knocked down a 3 from the wing, his fourth long-distance connection of the game. On the last possession, he contested a UNR pass at midcourt, came up with a steal and raced the other way for the go-ahead bucket.

The crowd is getting loud at the Thomas & Mack and the Rebels are beginning to get more open-court opportunities as T.J. Otzelberger continues to play four-guard lineups. Let's see how long that keeps working for the home team.

UNR has slim lead over UNLV at half, 39-37

UNLV closed the half strong thanks to some hot shooting from Jonah Antonio, and UNR's lead has been trimmed to 39-37 at the break.

The Rebels trailed by 11 points with three minutes left in the half, but Antonio hit a pair of triples in the closing minutes to cut the deficit. The junior guard has made 3-of-6 on the night, the first time he's made that many 3's in a game since he hit four against New Mexico on Jan. 18.

UNR has been led by guards Jalen Harris and Jazz Johnson, both of whom have 10 points.

Along with Antonio's nine points, the Rebels have been led by sophomore guard Bryce Hamilton, who has 11 on 4-of-8 shooting.

UNR opens first-half lead over UNLV

UNR has so many good scoring guards that one of them is bound to break out each game, and so far tonight that guy has been Jazz Johnson. The senior has a game-high 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting to power UNR to a 31-22 lead with 3:29 left in the first half.

UNLV struggled offensively for a long stretch after UNR went to a 1-3-1 zone, but the Rebels have done a decent job countering it the last few minutes, mostly with Bryce Hamilton and Elijah Mitrou-Long attacking the gaps. The Rebels are just 9-of-25 from the field.

The weirdest development of the night has been the teams' complete inability to make free throws. Both UNLV and UNR are 0-of-5 from the stripe.

UNR leads UNLV early, 13-11

UNLV got off to a hot start offensively, as 3-pointers from Amauri Hardy, Bryce Hamilton and Marvin Coleman helped the Rebels open an early 11-7 advantage, but UNR has rallied to take a 13-11 lead with 11:30 left in the first half.

The Rebels have missed their last five shots from the field and haven't scored since the 16:30 mark. UNLV is shooting 4-of-11 for the game and 0-of-4 from the free-throw line.

Hamilton has a team-high five points, while Jazz Johnson leads UNR with five.

Three keys for UNLV basketball vs. UNR

The Rebels will try to carry over momentum from Saturday's last-second win over Fresno State when they host in-state rival UNR at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNR is 8-5 in Mountain West play, while UNLV is a half-game behind at 7-5, so this contest could end up impacting the final standings.

Three keys for the Rebels:

Defend the arc

UNR is a jump-shooting team, ranking in the bottom 25 in the nation in percentage of shots around the rim, and it's working for the Wolf Pack. Their guards can heat up in an instant, led by junior Jalen Harris, who is averaging 21.2 points and 2.4 3-pointers per game, and senior Jazz Johnson, who is making 3.2 3-pointers per game. UNLV has to pay particular attention to UNR's outside shooters, maybe even at the expense of giving up some interior buckets.

Run the floor

Halfcourt offense is not the Rebels' friend, and T.J. Otzelberger knows that. UNLV is much more effective when it can beat the opposing defense up the floor and keep them scrambling. Look for Otzelberger to give point guards Marvin Coleman and Elijah Mitrou-Long the green light to push the pace at every single opportunity.

Create a home-court advantage

UNR is an excellent home team (11-2 in Reno) but struggles mightily in true road games (1-7). If enough UNLV fans show up at the Thomas & Mack Center and create enough of an atmosphere to impact the game, it will make life much more difficult for the visiting team.

TV: ESPN3, 7 p.m.

UNLV: 12-13, 7-5 MWC (KenPom No. 132)

Coach: T.J. Otzelberger

Leading scorer: Bryce Hamilton, 14.9 points per game

Leading rebounder: Mbacke Diong, 8.4 rebounds per game

Leading assists: Elijah Mitrou-Long, 3.7 assists per game

UNR: 15-10, 8-5 MWC (KenPom No. 78)

Coach: Steve Alford

Leading scorer: Jalen Harris, 21.2 points per game

Leading rebounder: Lindsey Drew, 6.5 rebounds per game

Leading assists: Lindsey Drew, 4.4 assists per game

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.

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