UNLV steals a victory at CSU

The Runnin' Rebels had all but given the game away down the stretch with poor decisions, poor free throw shooting, and some very questionable calls from the officials. But CSU gave it right back fouling Lou Kelly on a 1/2 court shot attempt as time expired. Lou hit all 3 free throws to send the game to overtime.

Lou Kelly scored nine of his career high 29 points in the overtime period to propel the Rebels past the Colorado State Rams. He connected on six of six free throws and one three pointer in overtime as the Rebels scored the first seven points of the extra period.

Freshman Jon Rakiecki made things interesting for Colorado State when he connected on a three pointer with 15 seconds remaining and cut into the Rebel lead at 92-91. But Kelly's four free throws down the stretch sealed the game for the Rebels.

How the game entered overtime was a small miracle for the Rebels. UNLV was trailing by five points at 82-77 with 15 seconds remaining in regulation. Lou Kelly missed a uncontested dunk, but the ball was rebounded by the Rebels. The ball went to Dalron Johnson who connected on a three pointer with 4.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Marcus Banks fouled Andy Birley on the ensuing in bounds and Birley hit the only first of two free throws to give the Rams a three point lead.

The Rebels rebounded the missed free throw and gave the ball to Kelly. Kelly crossed half court and unleashed a desperation three pointer. However, Jon Rakiecki mugged Kelly while he was in his shooting motion. The foul was called as time expired and Kelly went to the line for three free throws, all of which were converted.

In spite of poor shooting, the Rebels only trailed the Rams 39-36 at the half thanks to Lamar Bigby's desperation 35 footer at the buzzer.

Dalron Johnson, who was named as the MWC player of the week earlier in the day, struggled with first half foul trouble and finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Marcus Banks added 22 points and 6 assists for UNLV (15-9, 6-5 Mountain West Conference).

Andy Birley and Brian Greene had 16 points each for Colorado State (10-15, 1-9).

The Rebels concluded conference road play with a 3-4 record. UNLV ends the season with San Diego State, Air Force, and UNM beginning Saturday night with the Aztecs.

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