March 7, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Four Runnin' Rebels scored in double figures, led by freshman forward Brandon McCoy's double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds, as the No. 8 seed UNLV men's basketball team (20-12) defeated No. 9 seed Air Force (12-19), 97-90, in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
McCoy's double-double was his league-leading 17th of the season. Junior forward Shakur Juiston added 21 points, while senior guard Jovan Mooring chipped in 17 and senior guard Jordan Johnson recorded his third double-double of the year with 10 points and 12 assists.
It was UNLV's 20th win of the season, marking the first time the program has won 20 games in four years. The Runnin' Rebels were 20-13 in 2013-14.
The Falcons also had four players score in double figures, led by Lavelle Scottie's 23 points and Jacob Van's 20.
THE TURNING POINT: UNLV used a 12-0 run in overtime to take a 10-point lead at 91-81 with a minute left in the extra period. Justion scored six points during the run, while McCoy had four.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV made 14 of 17 free throws in the extra period.
RUNNIN' REBEL OF THE GAME: In addition to McCoy's game highs in points and rebounds, he also blocked a game-high three shots. He was 9 of 18 from the field.
QUOTABLE: “These games are always tough to coach when you go against really disciplined teams that have a very strong signature of how they play, and that's what this team does. They just fight, they never quit. They made 16 3s in their last game and 13against us tonight. We were very prepared to play this type of game, especially after the two previous games where they were both close games. We were happy to come out on the winning side. It's nice to advance. That's where we're at and looking forward to getting our preparation in for the next one.” - UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies.
- Three of the past four games between Air Force and UNLV in the Thomas & Mack Center have gone to overtime.
- This is the second time in three years that Air Force and UNLV have gone to overtime in the MW Tournament's first round.
- It was the third straight season that UNLV went to overtime in its opening game of the conference tournament.
- The Runnin' Rebels swept the season series (3-0) vs. Air Force.
- UNLV trailed for just 58 seconds in the entire game.
- UNLV improved to 4-0 all-time against Air Force in tournament play.
- The win snapped a five-game losing streak for UNLV.
- It was UNLV's first MW Tournament win since 2016.
- UNLV shot 51.7 percent from the field in the second half (15 of 29).
- UNLV out-rebounded Air Force, 41-31.
- UNLV led in second-chance points, 19-7.
- Air Force's bench outscored UNLV's 53-17.
- UNLV led by as many as 13 early in the second half.
- The Runnin' Rebels led 37-33 at halftime.
- There were nine ties and two lead changes.
- UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in 1,038 straight games.
NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will face No. 1 seed UNR in the Mountain West Tournament's quarterfinals Thursday, March 8 at 12 p.m. The two teams split the regular-season series each winning on the other's home court. Three Governor's Series points will be awarded to the winning side. Tickets may be purchased at UNLVtickets.com, by calling 702-739-FANS (3267) or by visiting the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office.