unlv basketball:

UNLV basketball has a chance late but drops a 68-66 defeat at Wyoming

Anthony Marshall and Mike Moser both had potential game-tying shots in the final five seconds, but Rebels can’t blame loss on that

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Associated Press/Reno Gazette-Journal

Wyoming guard Arthur Bouedo, center, and teammate Francisco Cruz celebrate with Wyoming fans after beating UNLV 68-66, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.

Wyoming edges UNLV, Feb. 4, 2012

KSNV coverage of UNLV's upset loss at Wyoming, Feb. 4, 2012.

UNLV Wyoming

Wyoming fans cheer during the Cowboys' game Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, against UNLV in Laramie, Wyo. Launch slideshow »

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Anthony Marshall had the game in his hands, charging toward the rim in the final seconds.

No. 11 UNLV struggled all day to inflict its style or temper Wyoming’s attack, but at that moment the Rebels still had a chance to force their third consecutive overtime on the road.

Instead, they finally got burned.

Marshall’s shot went too hard off the backboard and sophomore forward Mike Moser's attempt from the opposite wing sailed long off the rim as Wyoming held on for a 68-66 victory in front of 7,179 fans, a portion of whom stormed the court afterward.

Before he had even showered, Marshall took to Twitter and shouldered blame for the loss. He was equally eager to take blame when talking during postgame interviews.

“I had an opportunity to make some things happen and feel like I didn’t come through like I’m supposed to,” Marshall said.

That's far too simple and this loss doesn't rest on one player.

In the final four minutes, Wyoming (18-5, 4-3) shot 0-for-4 from the field and 1-for-2 at the free-throw line. If the Cowboys hit even one of those shots, it’s a different game.

After Wyoming’s Luke Martinez missed a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left, the Rebels stormed up court and prepared for their final shot.

UNLV coach Dave Rice had a timeout, but said he was more comfortable staying in the flow of the game.

“As good as Wyoming is with their set defense, I thought it was better for us to go ahead,” Rice said. “We got two very good looks. We got a drive to the basket and off the offensive rebound, we got a wide-open 15-footer. We work on that, and in a situation where we get a stop, we just want to flow into our offense and try to get something.”

Senior guard Oscar Bellfield handed the ball off to Marshall with just less than 10 seconds on the clock. After sizing up the defense, Marshall exploded into the lane and drew contact just as he was going up for the shot.

“I just tried to get into his body, hopefully get a foul call or just be able get it on the backboard,” Marshall said.

Both Marshall and Rice refused to speculate on whether a foul should have been called. Moser said from his position on the wing, it looked like enough contact to warrant a call.

On the last possession of a close game, it basically takes a mugging to draw a whistle, so it’s no surprise that it didn’t get called. And that wasn’t UNLV’s (21-4, 5-2) last chance, either.

As Marshall put up his shot, junior forward Quintrell Thomas swooped in from the left side, grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Moser.

With his foot on the three-point line, Moser put up a shot with about two seconds left that clanked off the rim.

The celebration was on in Laramie.

“When they had the ball with 30 seconds left, I felt pretty good that we could get a stop,” Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said. “They are a very good offensive team with a lot of weapons, but what doesn’t get talked about a lot is we have some pretty good defenders and we were able to dig deep and hold on to the end.”

UNLV’s problems started with not getting enough shots in the first half. The Rebels had 22 attempts, their lowest first-half total since Dec. 19, which didn’t allow them to take full advantage of their 63.6 percent shooting. Turnovers (six) and fouls (12) were the main culprits. The fouls also hurt on defense.

“Our big guys picked up some bad fouls and it was tough trying to guard in foul trouble,” Moser said. “They got some easy baskets, kind of had to give them some just to stay out of foul trouble.”

The Rebels’ shooting dropped to 37.9 percent from the field in the second half. The team’s leading scorers, Moser and Chace Stanback, shot 4-for-12 and 0-for 2, respectively. Moser’s game included a pair of air-balled 3-point attempts.

“I really don’t know what was going on,” Moser said. “I just couldn’t make a shot today.”

Thomas led UNLV with 15 points while Marshall and Bellfield each scored 12. With 11 points and 10 rebounds, Moser secured his 13th double-double.

Senior center Brice Massamba scored six points in the opening minutes and then didn’t attempt another shot until midway through the second half.

In the final eight minutes, right about the time Wyoming took the lead for good, UNLV shot 0-for-6 behind the 3-point line. Rice said he wasn’t upset with the shots.

“We play with freedom, we play with confidence,” Rice said. “We threw the ball inside and we kicked it out and some of those shots just didn’t go in today. It’s easy to talk about in a game like this when they didn’t go in.”

UNLV was adamant that Wyoming didn’t catch them off guard. Outplayed them, maybe.

“They just came out ready to play,” Marshall said. “That’s a good team out there.”

Travel to Wyoming is never easy — UNLV got into town after midnight Friday — but Rice refused to use that as an excuse. And how could he? The Rebels got to Boise State and Air Force much more easily and those teams still gave UNLV a run.

UNLV probably didn’t deserve to get the win, but with the game on the line, Marshall felt like he should deliver.

“He got the ball in my hands to make something happen, I got to the rim and had a chance at it and just didn’t connect,” Marshall said. “Like I said, that one’s on me.”

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

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  1. That's ok Rebels. Tough losses will happen. Keep your heads up and keep doing what your doing.

  2. Rebs have to find a way to get stanback more involved......posts up or something....

  3. Well the officating was awful. The league officials favors the home team in the conference way more they should. This is why the mwc is not better in the ncaa tournament. They call it way too soft.

  4. Why doesn't someone have the guts to say the Rebels are over rated and just forget about it

  5. Two flops by waddell called charges, (even the biased announcer mentioned Vladi Divac, notorious for flops), Waddell blatantly pulls Moser's arm on the fast break called a charge, and then the blocking call on Moser's 3rd foul to start the second half. (Those plays were called charges for UW). Game was called one way. Easily a turn of ten points. Not sure if they dislike UNLV or getting caught up in seeing an upset for TV ratings. But those weren't even controversial. Call it equal for both teams.
    I don't blame the players for this loss, it falls onto the heads of the league. I do not feel bad one bit now that the tournament is in Las Vegas. If they can't call a fair game, then at least we have the advantage come tourney time.

  6. Anthony, in no way is this loss "on you". Alot of credit has to go to Wyoming, they are a good team and fought hard, there was no quit in them today, they needed this win. I know Coach Rice will never blame travel, but I'm not sure how may people understand what 7200 ft does to not only your legs, but shots as well. Could the Rebs have won? Yes, they had their chances throughout the game, they shot 63% in the first half?! Wyoming stayed in it with free throws, and forcing turnovers. I don't think the team likes this feeling, if it drives them to play just a little bit better on the road, better now than later. The Rebels will do well in the tournament, all games are on a neutral court, of which UNLV is averaging wins of over 20 points. And I wouldn't want to be the next team they play...not a good thing for the Aztecs at the Mack. Let's Run!

  7. No, the officiating did not favor the home team nor does the league dislike the Rebels. There were plenty of questionable calls both ways. This loss was foreseen and not unexpected. The Rebs still had a chance to send it to OT but missed the open shot this time. The Rebels are simply not a good road team. They are terrific and very exciting at home but are a completely different team on the road. Wyoming is not one of the dog teams like AFA and BSU who took UNLV to OT and actually had a chance to each win in the last seconds of regulation. As long as the Rebs have this Jeckyll and Hyde personality they are going to struggle. The Rebels could have lost four on the road or won all four so the two and two split is about right. The loss is frustrating but don't be a loser and blame the refs. Rebs will win Saturday and will beat Wyoming like a drum at the T&M. I don't see any way they don't win the tournament with the way they play at home

  8. This was inevitable.. The Rebels are 2-2 on the road in conference games with 2 OT wins and 2 2-point losses.. Until the team is able to play up to their potential on the road, they will be at risk to lose every road game for the rest of the year.

    I think you have to look to Dave Rice to accept most of the responsibility for this loss, as I believe he wasn't rotating the players well enough at the high altitude, and wasn't calling for enough plays inside. Sure, the coach doesn't shoot the basketball or commit turnovers, but it's his job to keep the team heading in the right direction. Like players, coaches will have bad games as well, so I'm sure they'll work to do better.

  9. Our team struggles on the road... there could be 3 goats, a donkey, and Mabel's chickens in the stands at Wyoming and something makes the team tense up and miss shots and cause turnovers. Boise State is not Kansas or Ohio State.
    This is something that Coach Rice has to address if we are going to make it against our future competition on the road.
    The Rebels had a great season so far (credit to the team and coach Rice), but they are never in control outside the T&M. They are fading and if we don't nip it in the bud, there will be a lot of disappointed Rebel's Fans. We could have been in the top 10 next week, and now we will probably be 20 and trying to hang on there. Forget the altitude issues, hostile crowds, etc., etc. Get it done!

    We need another major player besides Moser. We need to stay focused on this season, but think carefully about that last scholarship.

    It's hard for the Rebel fans too, because we get our hopes up and just get let down, not just by a freak loss, but the close wins to average teams.

    Now the Rebels have to win every game for the rest of the regular season, which is a tall order. I say Go Rebels! But I'm not getting my hopes up too high.

  10. This is a good team. The coach needs to figure out how to travel -- especially to altitude. And the school needs to allow him the budget to execute a consistent travel pattern.

  11. wow, people really get their feelings hurt when the rebels lose a game. "i didn't like you anyway, rebels! i hate you, i hate you! waaaaaah!" jesus, it was a close game in a tough environment. they didn't get blown out or give up, they just lost a tough game. i promise you there are some high profile teams besides us that might have a hard time winning against that team at that altitude. i'm not by any means happy about the fact that we definitely have not solved our road issues, but don't go jumping off any bridges over this one.

  12. This is how it works. Good teams will slip now and again against good competition. This is what happens when your conference is above average, ask the big east. As long as it doesn't become a habit, a couple ok loses are just part of the game.

  13. Definitely puts us behind the 8 ball to win conference. SDSU has gone 2-1 on the road against New Mexico, CSU, and Wyoming. That means that even if we beat SDSU at home we still have to beat both CSU and UNM on the road. Not sure that is possible. Yes SDSU could slip up and lose another game on the road but outside of UNLV they are playing the bottom teams on the road the second run through the conference. Stanback has to step up. He is shooting .329 from the field in true road games and averaging 9.9 ppg. In his last 7 road games he is averaging only 6.8 ppg and shooting .320 from the floor. Pretty hideous numbers for a senior who is capable of so much more. Is this the same guy that lit up the NBA front line of UNC for 28?

  14. Stings a little dont it? Chace has to ge tthe ball and be agressive. Hers nearly a 90 % free throw shooter, ayet fades away all the time...He needs to post up, and go to the rack. Period. PArticulairly in crunch time.

  15. I love the team.....But Coach Rice has GOT TO FIGURE out crunch time plays to get the balls to the best scorers. Time and again, we run plays through MAssamba. Who played well , but there is a difference in a GO TO player in crunch time..it starts with Freee throw shooting....Im shocked most teams dont hack him late...I certainly would. To come back in crunch time you need to goet to the line....therefore Massamba would nt be a good choice....WHERES THE PLAYS FOR CHACE at the end of game...and I dont mean that tired curl they run for him.....He doesnt run hard at it and gets denied easily...then the team looks away from him.....Get chace the ball!!!!!! Especially at end of games......Our end of game coaching has sucked!!!Step it up Rice !!!!!!!

  16. Really ugly game, and very tough loss. UNLV played hard, and Wyoming really wanted it. There's no easy outs in MWC this season. Truth be told, Wyoming is ranked 51 in the Pomeroy index, so it doesn't really hurt terribly bad, but UNLV needs to really step it up and return the favor to SDSU this next week. Keep your heads up fellas, and do work this week to prepare!

  17. With with this sloppy loss then 7 more days off, UNLV should... well play just as sloppy. Good job coach with another long break!

  18. I disagree. Which team is affected more by offensive calls. All three of those games on the road have a similar feel because every time Marshall, Bellfield etc, drive, it's called offensive. Turns into a jump shooting contest. Relegates the more athletic players neutralized.

  19. Jedi..You make some very valid pts about Massamba & Chace too. But Chace is a stand still shooter with a half way decent mid range game. He isnt quick enough without the ball & doesnt work hard enough to get it. Have you ever seen him break anybody down off the dribble or rise above the defender & score? Me neither. But you're right (!) in that we need to get him looks in crunch time. So how do we do it, if not in transitiion, considering the facts I just mentioned about his game? You do exactly what the Rebels did...play thru the post, get a high % look or force the double, make the def shift which creates lanes for penetration and either finish at the rim or THEN kick to an open Chace. That is the only way he'll get a decent look late in the game. Otherwise, we're right back to Kruger ball if the first option pick & roll/pop dont work...whipping it around the permimeter and chucking up a contested, fade away 3. No thanks. Giving Rice grief for not calling the TO is worthy of debate...but not his scheme in attacking the defense & maximizing our options. His way got us two decent looks but they just didnt go down. Coaching isnt a weakness on this team & the numbers both statistically & win/loss prove it. Just saying.

  20. We all watched the game, so let's be honest" Our two best players had an off night, it happens. Basketball is a team sport and requires a team effort. The effort was there but when two of the top players in the league (Moser,Stanback) struggle it becomes three against five which never works. We will come out and play well against SDSU and win, it's the two road games at Colorado and New Mexico that will require all hands on deck.

  21. It's always tough to win on the road...doesn't matter what confernce or what level. You have to win you home games....which the Rebels have done a good job of doing. It also helps that UNLV hosts the MWC tournament every year....personally I think it should be in Denver at a neutral site.

  22. Another team we should have blown out...instead, we lose. We can't win on the road. To me that means lack of preparation and focus when the team travels.

    I'm not sure what the team curfew or travel rules are, but perhaps the coaches should take a close look at what they're doing to prepare for road games, because whatever it is....it isn't working!

  23. @captainron since when is a double-double an "off night"? Moser did plenty on his end.

    Stanback has offensively disappeared for about 4 games in a row, and I'm pretty sure Anthony Marshall leads the nation in missed layups. I still love the guy, and think he's a freak athlete, but if he's serious about getting to the next level, he has to be able to finish his drives more than 1/3 of the time.

    Hand it to Quintrell for stepping up and getting a lot done in some limited minutes and Wyoming for coming out with a good game plan and solid execution.