UNLV has been at this point innumerable times this season. The clock was winding down to zero against the visiting Spartans from Silicon Valley and Jovan Mooring had the ball in his hands in the final seconds trying to provide heroics. The junior guard who is the reigning D2 Juco player of the year drove the ball baseline and tossed up a floater that would carom harmlessly off the rim, solidifying a comeback two point victory for SJSU. UNLV fell for its 6th time in as many games 76-74.
The Rebels are a flawed team, but they played about as perfectly as they are able to in the first half. They went into the locker rooms up 36-31 mainly because of fierce defense and a spirited effort on the offensive glass (17 total for the game). UNLV forced the Spartans into a lot of turnovers, so between all the extra possessions they gave themselves the Rebels looked to be in control.
But as has been the case over and over during the course of the season, UNLV has shown that they are not capable of putting together a full 40 minutes of competent basketball. The Rebels held a 10 point lead at one point, but it was quickly erased due to sloppy basketball (14 turnovers) and an inability to capitalize from the charity stripe (21-31).
Jovan Mooring was once again valiant in defeat. Mooring has had to shoulder the burden of this historically bad season and to his credit he has done everything in his power to keep UNLV in these close games. Today, Jojo went for 18 points and 8 dimes. Without his aggressive play of driving to the basket and getting tough layups to drop during the stretch run in the 2nd half, UNLV wouldn't have even been within a bucket for him to take the final shot.
Tyrell Green was red hot. He scored a career high 28 points and pulled down 9 big rebounds. The senior played like he wants his final games in a Rebel uniform to be memorable ones. Christian Jones was the last of the three UNLV players in double digits. Jones was tremendously strong with a double-double of 11 points and 12 boards.
The Rebels did hit a three point field goal for the thousandth straight game, so at least there's a positive streak going on during this otherwise heart wrenching season.