Terry's the hero again at San Diego St, 72-69

SAN DIEGO – For UNLV guard Curtis Terry, it was déjà vu all over again … almost. Four years earlier at Cox Arena, it was Terry's long off-balanced 3-pointer at the buzzer that capped the Comeback For The Ages for the Runnin' Rebels who overcame a 10-point deficit in the final 19 seconds of regulation of an eventual 93-91 overtime victory over San Diego State.

Saturday afternoon, Terry again left Steve Fisher's squad (14-6, 4-2) down and dejected at the end after the Rebels (15-4, 4-1) snatched a share of first place in the Mountain West Conference away from the Aztecs with an emotional and hard-fought 72-69 victory.

It was Terry's long 3-pointer off a Rene Rougeau screen with 26.2 seconds remaining that broke a 69-69 tie and proved to be the game-winner.

It was at the same basket that Terry made the ESPN highlights with his game-tying 3-pointer four years earlier. The difference this time, however, is it came on the left side of the key instead of the right side.

The Rebels had to withstand to potential game-tying 3-pointer attempts by San Diego State guard Richie Williams and forward Kyle Spain sandwiched around by a missed one-and-one free throw attempt by Terry.

Spain's try off a double-screen to the right of the key with three seconds to go was straight on but hit the back of the rim and bounded high in the air where it was batted away to UNLV guard Marcus Lawrence who corralled it as the final buzzer went off.

The crowd of 9,131, including a couple thousand students who chanted "Bleep (rhymes with truck) The Rebels!" for a good minute during the second half, then quietly departed the arena.

Meanwhile, UNLV coach Lon Kruger was greeted by loud cheers from his team as he entered the locker room after doing a quick TV interview immediately afterward.

In a conference where road wins are very tough to come by, they don't come much bigger than this.

"It's huge for us," Terry said. "We were able to come in here with a chance to take over first place. It was going to be hard against a good team playing well at this time of year. But everybody just came out and battled."

Indeed, although it was Terry's 3-pointer that was the game-winner, it took truly a team effort to pull this one out. Among the highlights:

* Junior forward Joe Darger had his second double-double of his career finishing with game highs in both points (19) and rebounds (10).

* Guard Wink Adams, who had the big assist on Terry's game-winner, finished with 13 points and a team-high 6 assists.

* Senior forward Corey Bailey, besides helping hold Aztecs' star Lorrenzo Wade to just 8 points, was a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor (2-of-2 3-pointers) and finished with a career-high 15 points. "Corey had the best game of his career so far obviously," Terry said.

* Guard Rene Rougeau, playing in front of about a dozen friends and family who made the 75-minute drive down I-15 from Rancho Cucamonga, had a huge tip-in of a Adams' miss with 1:15 to go to give UNLV a 69-67 lead. He finished with another all-MWC kind of stat line of 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals.

* Forward Matt Shaw (7 points, 6 rebounds) and point guard Marcus Lawrence (3 assists) also played key roles off the bench.

The Rebels next travel to much-improved TCU (11-7, 3-2) on Wednesday night.

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