UNLV gives one away in South Carolina.

The Runnin' Rebels picked a bad time to play one of their worst games of the year, as they come up short in the 2nd round of the NIT. UNLV has grown accustom to second half comebacks, but UNLV's poor start proved too much to overcome Tuesday night in Columbia.

The Runnin' Rebels picked a bad time to play one of their worst games of the year, as they come up short in the 2nd round of the NIT. UNLV has grown accustom to second half comebacks, but UNLV's poor start proved too much to overcome Tuesday night in Columbia.

The Rebels managed to miss fire on 12 straight shots in the first half allowing the Gamecocks of South Carolina to take an early lead. The Rebels shot only 32% over the first 20 minutes but were fortunate to trail by only five at the intermission. Spoonhour's bunch reverted to old form for much of the game with careless turnovers and poor shot selection. But what ultimately did them in was the second half shooting of Jamel Bradley. Bradley scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and busted the game wide open with three straight three pointers to give the Gamecocks a comfortable 49-36 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the game. Prior to Bradley's three straight three pointers, he was 1 for 8 from the field.

UNLV battled back late with high energy, pressure defense. Lou Kelly's three point play cut the Carolina lead to just seven at 59-52. But that is when Bradley hit another three pointer over Lou Kelly to extend the Cocks lead to 10 again.

Kelly led the Rebels with 28 points on 10-22 shooting including 3 of 7 from three point range. Dalron Johnson contributed 17 points and 7 boards in the losing effort. His two blocked shots also pushed him further as UNLV's all time leading shot blocker. MWC Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Banks, hobbled with a hyperextended knee, struggled with constant double teaming. The junior finished with only 5 points on 1-12 shooting.

The SEC officials gave South Carolina 36 free throws to UNLV's 13.

UNLV concluded the season with a 22-11 record after starting the year 8-7.


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