With normal offensive stalwarts Wink Adams and Joe Darger scoring just a combined 17 points on 3-of-12 shooting, it was Terry and Bailey who came up big for the Runnin' Rebels (23-7, 12-4), especially down the stretch in a 70-63 come-from-behind victory over the Utes (16-13, 7-9) at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Terry, playing in the Mountain West Conference record-tying 127th game of his career, registered the first double-double of his career with 22 points and 10 assists while Bailey added 14 points (6-of-7 from the floor) and five rebounds as the Rebels clinched sole possession of second place in the MWC.
"Corey and I didn't want to lose our last home game at the Thomas & Mack," Terry said. "We had to get this one to try and get into the NCAA Tournament. We tried to go out there and get the job done and we were able to do that."
Terry connected on 4-of-6 3-pointers, including one from the right corner with 37.7 seconds remaining that gave UNLV a 66-61 lead. The huge basket came after Darger had wrestled the ball away from 7-foor-1 Utah center Luke Nevill (22 points, 6 rebounds) during a trap with Terry along the left baseline.
"I wasn't worried about it," Terry said of his big shot. "Just like all of our plays we have a bunch of different counters. The play was (designed) for Wink, and then it was (Darger). I was the third option. That's just the way that it played out. I was able to get a good pass from Wink and was able to knock it down. Give Coach (Lon) Kruger credit for drawing it up and Wink for going out and executing."
"Curtis likes that situation," Kruger said. "He likes that opportunity. He's stepped up many times."
Terry had to arc his shot over the long arms of Nevill who was racing out to contest the shot.
"I definitely feel comfortable in that corner," Terry said. "I just got it over Nevill this time. … I'm just glad we got the win."
Bailey had earlier broken a 61-61 tie with one of his signature follow dunks off of a Rene Rougeau miss with 1:26 to go.
"It felt good," Bailey said. "When I knew that I was putting it down, I actually caught the chills. That's why I was hanging on the rim for a minute. It was just so much running through me at that moment. I got the rebound and dunked it, and that was it."
A career 47.5 percent free throw shooter, Bailey also sealed the game by sinking both ends of a one-and-one with 21.2 seconds left that made it 68-63.
Utah guard Luka Drca then missed an open 3-point try from the right side of the key that Adams rebounded with 13 seconds left. Adams then sank both ends of a one-and-one to wrap up the scoring and UNLV's 21st straight victory over Mountain West Conference opponents dating back to 2006.
UNLV will try and make 22 in a row on Thursday night at 6 p.m. when it faces No. 7 seed TCU (14-15, 6-10), a 61-54 loser to BYU on Saturday night, in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament.
"I hope so," Terry replied when asked if he thought the Rebels' resume was enough for an NCAA Tournament berth. "We've still got work to do and we hold our future in our hands. If we go out here and win three games next weekend, then we're in and we don't have to worry about any of it."
Terry, Bailey save their best for last
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