UNLV trailed in this one by as many as 20 points, but the Rebels proved once more that they have a lot of fight inside of them. Trailing 41-23 at the half, coach Menzies needed a catalyst if UNLV had even a remote chance of getting back into the game. Enter true freshman Zion Morgan. He became the spark that the Rebels needed. Morgan hit two big three pointers and converted an and-one layup all in about a three minute span. From there the momentum belonged to the visitors from Vegas.
Jovan Mooring struggled along with the rest of his teammates in the opening half, but he came to life and then some in the second. Jovan scored 13 of his team high 15 points in the final 20 minutes and just like against Air Force, the ball was in his hands in the waning seconds with a chance to hit another stunning buzzer beater. With 6 seconds left the Rebel point guard dribbled the length of the court and launched a 30 footer that would give UNLV a monstrous comeback win... Unfortunately the shot hit the back of the rim and Mooring wasn't able to duplicate his prior heroics.
Four UNLV players reached double digits in the scoring column. The aforementioned Mooring and Morgan (15 points for Jovan and 12 for Zion) were joined by Christian Jones and Uche Ofoegbu. Jones had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Uche scored 10 and pitched in on the glass with 4 boards.
A couple of interesting stats can be looked at in hindsight as deciding factors now that the game is over. UNLV crushed Wyoming in the rebounding battle 47-33. What made that particular statistic even more glaring was that the Rebels hauled in 17 offensive rebounds. On the other hand the Rebels struggled mightily at the charity stripe, going a dastardly 12-21 (57%).
No matter how you look at this loss, it was a valiant effort in defeat for Menzies ball club. The team got down big, but showed tremendous heart in almost completing the comeback. While it stings to lose on a last second shot, the Rebels have nothing to hang their heads over.