Published Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 | 8:03 p.m.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Chace Stanback deflected a pass with two seconds left and UNLV held on for a 65-63 victory at Air Force, its second consecutive overtime victory. Sophomore forward Mike Moser led the way with 27 points and 12 rebounds, his fourth straight double-double and 12th of the season.
UNLV trailed for much of the second half and then needed a defensive stop just to force overtime. Once they got there, Oscar Bellfield, who finished with 15 points and seven assists, hit a huge 3-pointer, just like he did at Boise State on Wednesday. Moser helped keep UNLV ahead from there, but he missed a couple of late free throws and the Falcons had the ball with 7.6 seconds left and a two-point deficit.
But as they have for most of the year, the Rebels stepped up when they needed to as Stanback made up for his 1-for-10 shooting night with the crucial defensive stop.
No. 12 UNLV (20-3, 4-1) are now tied atop the Mountain West and control their own destiny for the conference title.
Check lasvegassun.com later tonight for a full report of tonight's victory.UNLV's defense holds on final possession and forces overtime at Air Force
For the second consecutive game, UNLV's defense held on the final possession of regulation and forced overtime at Air Force tied at 57. Mike Moser finished regulation with 24 points and 11 rebounds, including the final board off of Michael Lyons' miss that sent it to overtime.
The Rebels trailed down the stretch and only made it to the extra session because of a key 3-pointer from Anthony Marshall and Moser's stellar play.
Senior center Brice Massamba fouled out with about three minutes to go, so UNLV has been playing with Chace Stanback (who's 1-for-9 from the field) at center.Justin Hawkins gives UNLV slim 49-47 lead with 7:48 to go at Air Force
Justin Hawkins has six points in the second half, including an and-one layup that put UNLV ahead 49-47 with 7:48 remaining. He and Mike Moser have combined for 11 of the Rebels' 16 second-half points.
UNLV hasn't been able to hang on to the ball much better (13 turnovers) but it's getting shots at crucial times to keep its head above water. Chace Stanback (1-for-8 shooting) has been a non-factor, so I expect Hawkins to take his minutes for the rest of the game.UNLV regains the lead, 37-36, early in the second half at Air Force
Mike Moser scored two quick baskets and just barely missed another, leading the Rebels out of halftime and helping them take a 37-36 lead with 15:56 remaining. He also has nine rebounds, just one away from his fourth straight double-double.
Anthony Marshall had just one shot in the first half and he's tried to get more involved offensively with a missed 3-pointer and a drive to the basket that drew a foul. As long as UNLV takes care of the basketball, then it's shooting well enough to build a little lead at Air Force. But with 11 turnovers so far, that's easier said than done.Air Force slows down the game and takes a 34-33 halftime lead vs. UNLV
The Falcons slowed down the game, drew fouls and forced nine Rebel turnovers, helping them take a 34-33 lead at halftime. Mike Moser leads UNLV with 15 points and seven rebounds while Oscar Bellfield has 10 points and five assists.
Much like Wednesday night's game at Boise State, UNLV came out shooting hot (8-for-10 shooting) and allowed the opponent to get back in the game. The Rebels are still making an effort to work the ball into the paint, but that's actually led to several of their turnovers. They have at least two charging fouls and the Falcons picked off a couple of their entry passes.
Anthony Marshall has only taken one shot and Chace Stanback is 1-for-6 for the field. Stanback has been hounded everywhere he goes on the perimeter, which has forced him into the interior and possibly thrown off the offensive rhythm.
Unlike Wednesday's victory, the Rebels' shooting hasn't dropped off the table (56 percent) but their high turnover rate has kept them from getting enough possessions to build on their lead. Instead, Air Force put together a 10-0 run that helped the Falcons take the lead.
UNLV doesn't need to panic, but it does need to take better care of the ball and stay patient on defense. The Falcons are going to keep working down the shot clock, so the Rebels have to remain disciplined and not gamble too much, lest they surrender back-door cuts and easy baskets.Rebels lead 26-20 at Air Force behind Mike Moser's 12 points
Air Force has slowed down the game, waiting until the final 10 seconds of the shot clock before pulling the trigger, and pulled its deficit to 26-20 with 7:21 left in the first half.
UNLV's Mike Moser is still leading all scorers with 12 points and the Rebels are shooting 69 percent from the field, but the Falcons have frustrated their opponent with a slower pace and drawing fouls. This is the type of game Air Force needs to play in order to keep the game close.
To pull off the upset, though, the Falcons need to step up their defense and cool off the hot-shooting Rebels.Mike Moser has 10 points as UNLV runs out to a 20-13 lead at Air Force
UNLV is dictating the pace early, resulting in open shots and a 20-13 lead with 13:42 left in the first half. Mike Moser is 4-for-4 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and leads all scorers with 10 points. Oscar Bellfield is close behind with eight points.
The Falcons are known for slowing games down with a deliberate pace, but so far they seem content to run along with the Rebels. They simply can't keep up playing that way, so their best chance is to get into half-court sets and bore the Rebels defense.
And for the UNLV offense, which is 8-for-10 from the field, they need to keep working the ball inside and not settle for shots like they did after a quick start against Boise State.UNLV returns to the road tonight against Air Force
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Last Wednesday’s 77-72 overtime victory against Boise State proved that life on the road won’t be easy for No. 12 UNLV (19-3, 3-1), no matter the opponent. And with just about 24 hours in Las Vegas in between trips, the Rebels are back at it again today at Air Force (11-7, 1-3).
Unlike the Broncos, who just joined the Mountain West, the Falcons are a familiar opponent. The Rebels are 26-8 overall in the series and have won eight in a row, but seven of those losses have come at Air Force.
Clune Arena seats less than 6,000 and it may not even fill up today. Combine that with the Falcons’ deliberate style and UNLV’s biggest worry may be not getting lulled to sleep.
Air Force’s back-door cuts make it risky to gamble on passes for the UNLV defense, so its best hope of generating quick offense is on-ball pressure rather than filling the passing lanes. If that doesn’t work, then the Rebels may have to rely on their half-court attack, specifically working the ball through the post.
That’s been a focus for UNLV coach Dave Rice all season, but it hasn’t always shown up on the court. After shooting a season-low 34.8 percent from the field against the Broncos, you can bet that the Rebels will work in the paint early today.
Junior guard Michael Lyons leads Air Force with 13.8 points per game, while guard/forward Mike Fitzgerald pours in 11.3. Both players are 6-foot-6 and could create some matchup problems if UNLV switches off of screens, which it usually does.
That’s something to keep an eye on, but the main thing today is how the Rebels respond to their poor shooting on Wednesday. Slow starts have plagued them in several road games, including all three losses, but the opposite was true against Boise State. After early success they abandoned the offense in favor of a plethora of 3-pointers. Working the ball through Brice Massamba and Quintrell Thomas would show that the players are taking Rice’s lessons to heart.
Bern’s prediction: I thought UNLV would have no problems in Boise, but that game just proved how tough the road is in conference play. With little time to rest in between, you’ve got to expect the Rebels to struggle similarly at Air Force. The Falcons have nothing to lose and their style is the perfect antidote to the Rebels’ blitzkrieg pace. This will be ugly and frustrating to watch, but UNLV will pound the paint and hit some key 3-pointers down the stretch. UNLV 65, Air Force 57.