Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 | 10:12 p.m.
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — In the end it looked like another close loss on the road, one of many UNLV has suffered in the past year and a half.
The Rebels (15-4, 2-2) made plays at the end of Wednesday’s victory at San Diego State that they simply didn’t make Saturday at Moby Arena in a 66-61 loss to Colorado State (15-3, 2-1). The box score contains a lot of figures that make the loss understandable, if not expected; yet there are some that usually lead to victory, too.
Here’s a closer look at the numbers that added up to a UNLV loss:
-4 —UNLV’s rebounding margin in the final 3:23
The Rebels led in rebounds most of the way, which is no small factor considering CSU led the country in rebounding margin going into the game. The Rams eventually surged past the Rebels, though, for a final 36-34 advantage.
Down the stretch CSU cleaned up UNLV’s misses and grabbed two key offensive rebounds, including Pierce Hornung’s with 40 seconds left that may have broken the Rebels’ spirit.
0 — UNLV’s fast-break points
You won’t see that number very often. Part of it is probably due to the fatigue UNLV played with from the start, but CSU deserves a lot of credit on this one. Every team that plays the Rebels wants to get back on defense in transition but few are able to do it while also keeping pace offensively.
A big factor in this was the number of Rams’ points that came at the free-throw line, where they were 19-for-21. It’s a lot easier to get back and defend off of those shots.
0.46 — UNLV’s assist-to-turnover ratio
The Rebels had six assists and 13 turnovers, which, like the fast-break points, is a figure you won’t see much. It’s by far the fewest assists of the season and although it’s not the first time they’ve had more turnovers than assists, this is the worst margin of the year.
The low number of assists was due mostly to point guard Anthony Marshall scoring off the dribble rather than finding the open man. Marshall was 7-for-10 in the second half because he found a lot of success dribbling into the lane. One could argue he relied on this too much down the stretch and UNLV became too predictable and easier to contain.
1 — Made CSU field goals in final 7:30
The Rams could do that because they were 14-for-14 at the free-throw line during that same stretch. It’s not often UNLV will allow just one made basket for that long at the end and lose. Of course, the Rebels went more than seven minutes without scoring in the first half so they had plenty of chances.
24 — The Rams’ winning streak at Moby Arena
That’s the longest home streak in school history and the fourth longest in the country right now. UNLV accounts for two of those, but it also has plenty of company.
55.6 — The Rebels’ second-half field goal percentage
This is another figure that would seem to indicate a Rebel win, especially when contrasted with 37.5 percent shooting over the same stretch and 38.9 percent for the game. It wasn’t enough because UNLV shot just 27.5 percent in the first half and the Rams drilled more than 90 percent of their free throws.