Another late game ‘what if’ for UNLV’s Adams

Senior guard’s confidence still strong after missing two more potential game-winners


Justin M. Bowen

A Lobo defender meets Wink Adams Saturday in Albuquerque New Mexico at the Pit. The Lobos defeated the Rebels 73-69 in overtime; it was the second straight game UNLV has lost in overtime.

Overtime Again...Same Result

UNLV lost its second straight overtime game, this one to New Mexico, 73-69, Saturday night at The Pit.

UNLV at New Mexico

Wink Adams lays it in over a New Mexico defender Saturday as UNLV took on the New Mexico Lobos Saturday in Albuquerque New Mexico at the Pit. The Lobos defeated the Rebels 73-69 in overtime; it was the second straight game UNLV has lost in overtime. Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

UNM POSTGAME: Rebels fall into various Pits

Ryan Greene, Rob Miech and Ron Kantowski reflect on their experiences on Saturday night at The Pit, where UNLV fell to New Mexico in overtime, 73-69. The guys talk about the infamous 'ramp,' break down the effect of René Rougeau's technical foul and whether the Rebels' season now again comes down to three games in March.

Beyond the Sun

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Two games, two potential game-winning 3-point attempts gone by the wayside, two overtime defeats.

Still, Wink Adams, who hoisted the final shot for the Rebels in each of their two letdowns over the past week, won't let it change who he is.

"When the big shot comes, I always want to be the one taking it," the senior guard said following UNLV's 73-69 loss on Saturday at New Mexico. "That's my role on this team. I want to be the guy who can put the team on his shoulders. If I miss a shot, I can put the loss on my shoulders and just get better from it."

Spoken like a guy who's able to put things in perspective, realizing that, at the end of the day, it's just a basketball game.

But still, it hurt the Rebels' leading scorer for a little bit.

"It's tough, because they could have gone a whole other way if we'd just hit some shots down the stretch," Adams said of the week's two setbacks. "We're doing everything we need to do on defense. It's just down the stretch, we're missing shots."

While the three miss at the end of the night will more than likely be what Adams is remembered for from Saturday's contest, he was largely responsible for keeping the Rebels afloat for much of the second half.

With a litany of step-back jumpers, including one from 3-point range, Adams scored 11 of UNLV's first 12 points in the second half. He finished the night with a team-high 18. Five rebounds and four assists rounded out a solid night statistically.

But he was just as responsible as anyone for the late-game offensive woes.

Before the missed 3-pointer in overtime came a miss from about 18 feet away in the closing moments of regulation. Digging a bit deeper, Adams ended the night 6-of-16 from the floor, but missed his final five attempts.

He defended the shot attempts, and with good reason. Both were looks he’d hit earlier, and with the inconsistent officiating, there’s no telling what would have happened if he’d lowered his head and drove to the basket in an attempt to earn two shots from the stripe.

Also, he split his final three trips to the free throw line -- all of which came in the final seven minutes of the second half.

Still, Adams, who has established himself as one of the most stand-up individuals in the UNLV locker room, maintained the verbal course after the game. He stuck with what has now become a company line, so to speak, saying he needs to "get in the gym and put up more shots."

Teammates -- especially those who have hung around him the longest -- are pretty sure a pair of last-second overtime misses won't make him deviate from his even keel.

The Rebels can't afford to have Adams stray mentally, either. Coming up this week are home dates with TCU on Tuesday and Colorado State on Saturday. Both went down as home losses for UNLV just a few weeks ago, and both rematches will be crucial if the Rebels want to hang around in the tight Mountain West regular season race, which now finds them two games off of the pace with seven left to play.

"No, I do't think confidence becomes an issue," senior Joe Darger said in a straight-forward manner. "I think you keep taking that shot and I don't think it'll be a big issue for his confidence."

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  1. Time to face reality. This team just isn't as good as we thought or had hoped for.

  2. When your most reliable scorer is shooting less than 40% from the field and less than 25% from downtown and loves to fire treys, this type of result has to be expected to a degree ... hopefully they can get something going and get momentum heading into the conference tournament.

  3. Winks worst year of his career. Time to start lettting someone elso take that shot!

  4. Ya, I'd like to see Darger (outside) or Rougeau (inside, mid range) taking the game winning shots. No knock on him but I can't remember the last time Adams hit a game winner.

  5. I don't know about Darger shooting the game winners...He didn't even hit the rim at the end of regulation vs SDSU.