UNLV BASKETBALL:

UNLV sinks into The Pit in 73-69 loss to New Mexico

Rebels suffer second overtime loss in a week

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Justin M. Bowen

Wink Adams looks at the official is disbelief as he is called for a foul 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

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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. – The Pit was an appropriate place for a second consecutive overtime defeat for UNLV on Saturday night.

After senior swingman René Rougeau’s late technical foul, the Rebels still had leads in regulation and in the extra session but frittered them away in a 73-69 defeat to New Mexico.

That was of no consolation to Rougeau.

“Put the blame on me, for sure,” he said. “I have to play a lot smarter than that. We probably could have won that game if I don’t get that technical foul.”

As it turned out, UNLV senior power forward Mo Rutledge’s 12-foot jumper missed, short and to the right, at the end of regulation.

And the Rebels surrendered the final six points of the game after senior power forward Joe Darger drilled a 3-point shot for a 69-67 lead with 66 seconds remaining in overtime.

For the first time in the 51 seasons of UNLV basketball, the Rebels dropped consecutive overtime games.

It’s looking like a third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament for UNLV (17-6 and 5-4 in the Mountain West Conference) will have to arrive via three league tournament victories.

The Rebels lost, 68-66, to San Diego State in overtime Tuesday in Las Vegas.

“We just have to figure out a way to make some plays at critical times,” said UNLV coach Lon Kruger, “to get us on the right side of the scoreboard.”

New Mexico (15-9, 6-3) jumped ahead of the Rebels in the conference standings largely because second-year coach Steve Alford woke up Tony Danridge at halftime.

The 6-foot-5 senior swingman from San Bernardino, Calif., is the Lobos’ leading scorer, at a bit more than 13 points a game, but he took only one shot (he made it) in the first half.

Danridge finished with a career-high 26 points on an array of strong drives and spins, bankers and jumpers.

“You can’t be sitting around, getting only one shot in the half,” Alford told Danridge.

“He really lit into us a little bit,” Danridge said. “I just had to be more aggressive.”

Did Alford light into you, specifically?

“Yeah, a little bit,” Danridge said. “Well, not a little bit … we just had to come back, defend, knock down some shots and be tough.”

With 4 1/ 2 minutes remaining, Rougeau was called for his fourth foul while contesting for an offensive rebound. When he protested to an official, he was slapped with a technical – his fifth foul.

UNLV had a 53-52 lead. Chad Toppert sank the two free throws from the technical, and Danridge converted two free throws from the rebounding foul on Rougeau.

“It was a big momentum changer,” Danridge said. “Toppert hit his free throws, and we actually got a little momentum from it.”

A crowd of 17,407, the largest at The Pit since UNLV visited last season, exploded about the Lobos’ 56-53 advantage.

But it became deflated 18 seconds later when Rebels freshman guard Oscar Bellfield dropped a 3-pointer from the right corner.

Both teams stumbled, then UNLV sophomore guard Tre’Von Willis put in his own close miss to give the Rebels a 59-57 edge with 1:49 left.

That was the Rebels’ final field goal in regulation.

Willis missed a 3-pointer with two ticks left on the shot clock, Danridge tied it on a smooth jumper over Wink Adams with 37 seconds left and UNLV was left with Rutledge’s game-winning attempt.

With 3.6 seconds left, Bellfield inbounded the ball to Darger, who zipped it to Rutledge on the right side.

“Everyone’s a little disappointed,” Rutledge said. “It’s just a little frustrating, losing two in a row in overtime. I mean, there’s nothing more to say, really.”

Rutledge deflated the exuberant audience once again with a 3-pointer from the right corner that gave UNLV a 64-62 lead 90 seconds into overtime.

New Mexico center Daniel Faris, who scored a season-best 19 points against UNLV at the Thomas & Mack Center last month, answered with a turnaround flip-in on Darger at the other end.

Adams hit a baseline jumper off an inbounds pass, Toppert answered with a 3-pointer and Darger drilled a 3-pointer to give the Rebels a 69-67 advantage.

That’s when New Mexico continued answering UNLV, as Faris sank a hook shot on Darger to tie it, 69-69, with 47 seconds left.

Toppert’s bomb and Faris’s close-range shot were created by Roman Martinez, a junior forward from El Paso, Texas, who found his team

Faris had only connected on one shot during regulation. On the second, Darger said he got screened for a moment, which allowed Matinez to get the ball to Faris.

“Anytime he catches the ball low like that … he has a pretty good hook shot,” Darger said. “We have to get tougher and not let them get the ball that low.”

Adams missed a long 3-point shot with about 25 seconds left, and Danridge went to work, driving strong on the left side and sinking a bank shot over Rutledge with 5.4 seconds left.

Willis stepped on the left sideline, Toppert sank two ensuing free throws and Rougeau was left with a big burden on his shoulders.

“It was probably the hardest thing ever, to be honest with you,” he said of watching the rest of regulation and the overtime from the bench. “You can’t even help … I definitely let the team down.

“That’s how it goes sometimes. Everyone’s playing real hard. When you give it your all it’s tough like that, losing in overtime.”

It’s twice as tough when it happens again in the same week.

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Previous Discussion: 15 comments so far…

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  1. Now that the SDSU motivated you so much for New Mexico, Rene (and all Rebels), what does the New Mexico loss motivate you for? Another loss to TCU?

  2. Travel, bad decision, travel, bad shot, travel, bad officiating, travel, no defense in the clutch, travel, bad officiating, travel, dandridge not double teamed again and more bad officiating and wouldn't ya know it, the Lobos are still traveling in their sleep just dreaming of how the game was handed to them against a team that it seems the officials are being told to screw us. NO MENTION OF ANY OF THAT THOUGH IS THERE ROB! I suppose you're going to tell us that the Lobos 'earned' their victory, right Rob!BS!!

  3. Foul on Lobos, no call on Rebels, foul on Rebels Kruger talks to ref, 3 strait fouls on Lobos, Faris pulled down by Jersey no foul, Adams bowls over 2 Lobes foul on Lobos....I could go on but what is the point the officials are always to blame? If so all the teams in conference would be undefeated with the "right officiating.

  4. Dandridge, still traveling. Especially on the last shot and I could go on and on but what's the point trying to explain to a moron who should stay on his own site.

  5. liloldHOMO, I know that there is no coverage of your team anywhere, but no one cares what you think on this site. Point is that you guys squeaked out a win after being down the whole game. Ill see you at the thomas and mack in march, where we will beat you again.

  6. Fast, there is a LOT of poor officiating in this conference. It is horrendous. Awful. Brutal. Get my point? Because your team lost doesn't mean you need to take it out on something I write. Fact is, if Wink's late 3 goes down, you are happy. If Mo hits his 12-footer, no worries. I don't have the luxury of picking sides. MWC officials are poor, to both sides. That being said, the officials didn't cause Tre'Von Willis to step on the sideline late in regulation. I know what you're saying. But that doesn't discount Danridge's stellar second half and OT. Thanks

  7. I agree Rob. The officiating was horrendous. Just horrible man. But I agree that we still had our chances to win. As a big time Rebel fan I can admit that Danridge is a great player. I was so happy when we didn't have to face him last year because he was injured. I'll be happy next year when he's gone. He may have traveled on that play, but he still played great........damn him. And I think you do a hell of a job covering our Runnin Rebels. You've done a good job catching yourself up on the history of our team. Keep up the good work and research.

  8. The unnerving thing Rob, is that the truth can never be told without fear of reprisal from the conference or the NCAA or whoever doesn't allow the truth of officiating in a game to be said or written.

    The point about Wink is that he should have never taken a contested shot, doesn't matter where on the court he took it. He was driving just fine to the hoop during the second half. No need for a bomb. I guess I and other Rebel fans aught to just be 'happy' that we almost beat new mexico at the pit.

    Breathe in .....breathe out.

  9. FastCamron

    I agree with that Wink should have drove to the hoop instead of taking the bomb. But back to your point about the refs, I'm sure he didn't drive because the refs blew B sack all game. They were horrible. I'm PO'ed like everyone else. But we still had our chances.

  10. Fast and dequals, yep, sometimes you just gotta owe it to the hoops gods. Sometimes the shot goes in ... etc, etc. That doesn't mean it's any easier to stomach these absolutely inconsistent display by officials. The coaches and players can't say anything, indeed, without reprisal. That doesn't mean fans, or I, can't. It won't matter to me who wins or loses, but it would be good to, for once, not notice the zebras. They're a stain on what should be considered a top-third league.
    And if I don't see Dave Hall again this season, it will be a great season.

  11. Lenny, Dave Hall is a "scumbag," but he didn't do the game on Saturday in Hoboville. He did our game on Tuesday against SDSU. The guy who made the call on Renee was Mike Scyphers. He is also a horrible ref (I believe that is redundant as all refs are horrible). I just wanted to make sure you have the right guy's family killed. Just kidding.

  12. This team lives by the 3 and dies by the 3. When those shots are falling we give them high praise. When those threes are not going, saturdays outcome is what happens. Remember in the winning streak Kendall and Mo were hitting threes at a high percentage. With a lack of a post game if the jumpers arent going they can lose to anyone.You cant depend on guys to make 5 out of 6 threes a night. Still love the Rebels and that was a tough loss, but these guys are shooting to many 3's. Get back to the basics!

  13. Lenny, when I said we should be happy with a close loss at the pit, I was being obviously sarcastic. Hence the quotes around 'happy'.

    Sorry Rob, just a tad overzealous yesterday after the loss. You're still the man.

  14. Glad to have you at the PIT Saturday, I'll be in Vegas for tourney for multiple reasons. Reading the comments of fans like Fast are the same at every MWC site. If they care about BB, then they only lose a close game because of officiating. I like your perspective because if you "blow a gasket" on a bad call you miss all the other things that effect the outcome. UNM lost at the T&M by 2 earlier because of poor FT shooting -50% but we can say it was the refs because the better team lost. Every team gets 8 home games for a reason and it is hard to win on the road.
    Maybe thats why 7 other schools don't like the tourney location because only one school is playing at home. These are the MWC rules and Refs so everyone gets to deal with it.

  15. Yeah, we've already heard that speach. Move on.