Booker's 3 as Time Expires Lifts Rebels

UNLV squanders a 15 point lead in the second half, only to be saved by Vince Booker's 3-pointer as time expired. Give the assist to Marcus Banks.

UNLV almost squandered away a game in which they held a 16 point lead, but Vince Booker's three point bucket at the buzzer moved the Rebels and Cougars into a three way tie with New Mexico for third place in the Mountain West conference at 4-4.

After trailing by as much as 13 in the second half, BYU used 60% shooting to slowly cut into the Rebel lead. The Cougars never led the entire game, but they did manage to knot the game at 70 with 20 seconds remaining when freshman Jared Jensen followed his own miss with an easy put back.

UNLV put the ball into Marcus Banks' hands for the final play of the game. Banks penetrated to just outside of the free throw line before the defense collapsed on him. Banks found a wide open Booker in the right corner. Booker's shot was released well before the final buzzer, but time had expired by the time the ball reached the bottom of the net giving the Rebels the exhilarating victory.

UNLV won this game down the stretch without leader Dalron Johnson. Johnson fouled out late in the game, but he and Banks set the tone early for the Rebels. The duo accounted for 11 of UNLV's first 15 points while the Cougars went six-and-a-half minutes without a field goal.

Lou Kelly then joined the action and connected on back to back three pointers to give the Rebels a 23-8 lead midway through the first half. Kelly, who finished with a game high 22 points, scored 17 points in the first half to help the Rebels to a 43-41 halftime advantage.

The Rebels, who have 6 of their final 8 regular season games at home, host the first place Utah Utes Monday night as part of ESPN's Big Monday. BYU travels to San Diego for a Monday night game.

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