Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 | 12:35 a.m.
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — When the Rebels look back at this season, it’s very possible that a meaningless dunk in the waning minutes of a blowout victory will be one of their top moments.
It was that good.
“Oh my goodness. That was the highlight of the game,” sophomore forward Mike Moser said. “That was really entertaining.”
Moser was talking about his roommate, sophomore guard Karam Mashour.
Mashour, who scored a season-high eight points against Central Arkansas on Dec. 28, entered the game with just more than four minutes remaining. He immediately went coast-to-coast and missed a layup.
Three minutes later, a busted possession turned into the highlight of his career.
“Everything just felt right,” said junior guard Justin Hawkins.
After Mashour missed a 3-pointer from the right wing, Hawkins grabbed the rebound in the opposite corner. He dribbled back into the middle around the free-throw line and then flipped a pass to the right baseline, where Mashour had charged in and left his feet about 12 feet from the basket.
In real time it seemed like an ill-advised attempt. Mashour was far from the basket, and standing in his way was 6-foot-8, 285-pound center Andre Jackson. But on replay it looks almost like a designed play.
Mashour charged in, sailing with his right hand high above the rim and finished it with authority.
“It’s been two years that Karam wanted to dunk like that,” Hawkins said. “I always told him that whenever we’re in the game together, I’m going to give you the ball when you’ve got the chance. Everything just opened for him.”
The dunk and following celebration — a sort of primal scream — sent the UNLV bench into hysterics.
When asked about the slam, coach Dave Rice didn’t miss a beat.
“It was pretty good,” Rice said. “It was almost as good as the 3 the other guy hit after (Mashour) did the celebration.”
Oh well. That just gives Mashour something to improve on in his next highlight.