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UNLV basketball:

Rebels drop opening game of exhibition tour in Bahamas

UNLV makes mistakes at the end, loses 80-79 to the University of Toronto

Image

Steve Marcus

Marvin Menzies, UNLV men’s basketball head coach, gives advice to Jalen Poyser (5) during UNLV basketball practice at Mendenhall Center on the UNLV campus Monday, August 1, 2016. The Rebels are practicing in preparation for a tournament later this month in the Bahamas.

Mistakes are expected in August basketball, and it was the Rebels’ errors that cost them a victory in their first exhibition game in the Bahamas this afternoon.

UNLV’s game against the University of Toronto was close the entire way and the Rebels led late, but they missed their final five free throws and fouled on a 3-point attempt with half a second left. Toronto’s Devin Johnson hit all three shots to secure an 80-79 victory in Sir Kendal Isaacs Gym.

Uche Ofoegbu, a senior transfer from San Francisco, led UNLV with 20 points on 5-of-11 shooting, but it was his foul that set up Toronto’s trip to the foul line in the final second. UNLV shot 18 of 32 at the free-throw line, and four of its misses were in the final 16 seconds, two from freshman Zion Morgan and two from sophomore Jalen Poyser.

Senior Christian Jones notched 16 points and 15 rebounds, while Poyser and Kris Clyburn, who two weeks ago was uncertain to play because of an offseason knee procedure, both scored 10. Overall, UNLV shot 47 percent from the field and 38 percent beyond the 3-point line and lost the rebounding battle 41-36 while matching Toronto with 22 turnovers.

UNLV returns to action Tuesday against the CTG Knights and wraps up Thursday against the Providence Storm. CTG is 0-3 in exhibition competition, including an 81-74 loss to Wyoming last week, and Providence is 0-2, including a 92-89 loss to Florida Gulf Coast in which the Eagles finished the game with only three players.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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