LAS VEGAS — UNO got even closer to a breakthrough victory Friday night.
CJ Carter's 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim, allowing UNLV to hang on for a 73-70 victory. UNO was left with another near-miss — six days after leading for most of the game against Iowa.
“We played a really good basketball game, gave a great effort and showed great resiliency,” UNO coach Derrin Hansen said. “When we fell behind Iowa, they stretched it out to an 11-point lead and we couldn't get back in it. UNLV stretched it out to nine and we came back and got it tied. We have to take that back into practice (Saturday) as we start getting ready for South Carolina State at home on Tuesday.”
Mike Rostampour's 3-pointer with 1:38 left tied the game 68-68 and capped the 2-2 Mavs' comeback. Two Bryce Dejean-Jones free throws put the Runnin' Rebels back in front 70-68, but Devin Patterson tied the game with two free throws with 41 seconds left.
UNLV moved in front on a Khem Birch tip-in with 11 seconds to go, and — after a turnover — Jelan Kendrick's free throw made it 73-70. Kendrick missed the second shot, setting up UNO for a game-tying chance.
“I think it was a decent look,” Hansen said.
Forward Roscoe Smith, a starter on Connecticut's national championship team two seasons ago, had a monster game with 17 points and 22 rebounds for UNLV. Dejean-Jones added 19 points.
Patterson had 17 points for the Mavs, while John Karhoff had 15 despite fouling out with more than six minutes to play. Carter had 13 points. Matt Hagerbaumer had 11 rebounds off the bench.
Two guards sign with UNO
Jalen Jones and Devin Newsome signed national letters of intent to join UNO in 2014-15, coach Derrin Hansen announced Friday.
Jones, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard from Clinton, Iowa, is a three-year letterman at Clinton High School.
Newsome is a 5-9, 165-pound guard from Shawnee Mission (Kan.) South.