Game Recap: Runnin Rebels vs Fresno State

Runnin’ Rebels (13-13, 8-5)  |  Fresno State Bulldogs (8-17, 4-10)


UNLV snaps their four-game losing with the slight victory over Fresno State due to Marvin Coleman‘s game-winning bank shot.


The last time these two teams met, it took two overtimes to decide the victor, which was the Runnin’ Rebels. That game on Dec. 4th, went wire to wire and ended with UNLV winning 81-80. Junior forward Donnie Tillman led the way in that with 28 points and sophomore guard Bryce Hamilton was not too far behind him with 21 points. At the time, that was Hamilton’s career-high, but it also became the beginning of his reign as the best player on the team and a complete beast in conference play. Since the start of conference play, Hamilton has now jumped to the leading scorer on the team with 14.8 points per game.


Two months later, these two teams battled it out in another game that had everyone on the edge of their seats. Without the two extra periods, the contest still had the same result of the Rebels winning by one point, this time 68-67. Junior guard Amauri Hardy led the Rebels this time with 18 points, on 4-8 (50%) shooting from the three-point line. Right behind him was Hamilton with 17 points on 7-19 (36.8) shooting from the field. He also grabbed eight rebounds and shot a perfect 3-3 from the free-throw line. This also happens to be his twelfth straight game scoring in double figures.


Senior forward Vitaliy Shibel contributed some major minutes in the second half, being the third member of the team to score in double figures with 13 points. Shibel was perfect from the floor going 4-4, including shooting 3-3 from beyond the arc. But the hero of the night was definitely Coleman, who shot the game-winning mid-range bank shot with 0.8 left remaining on the clock. With the game being super airtight with constant ties and lead changes throughout the entire second half, everyone knew this was going to be another game that was going to go down to the last possession. The game was tied with one minute left.


Senior guard Noah Blackwell made a three to go up by three for the Bulldogs with 53 seconds left in the game. Hardy then made a layup to make it a one-point game with 40 seconds left. After Fresno State failed to extend their lead, UNLV got the rebound and went down the other side of the court without any timeouts left looking to win the game.


As everyone in the Thomas & Mack Center began to rise, Coleman calmly drove to his left and pulled up from the mid-range to shoot the fade-away jumper. In that split where everyone held their breath to see the ball travel through the air to graze the top of the backboard and bounce into basket. The next second consisted of everyone jumping in excitement as Coleman celebrated with his teammates.


Fresno State then threw up a half-court heave to try to win the game but it fell short as UNLV won the game. Coleman provided a great finish to a great game where he did his best Tim Duncan impression with his patented mid-range bank shot to win the game. It was actually his only made field goal of the night as he finished with four points. It may have been just the spark the team needs as they prepare to play against Reno on Wednesday. UNLV will look to split the season series against their in-state rival after losing their first battle on Jan. 22, 72-86.


The Runnin’ Rebels will take on UNR on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 7 pm in the Thomas & Mack. The game can be seen ESPN3 and can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1100 AM.

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Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24


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