For the second time in as many Mountain West Tournament meetings, UNLV and Air Force went overtime to decide the victor. The Runnin’ Rebels defeated Air Force, 97-90, in the opening round of the 2018 version, as it did in triple overtime in 2016, to advance to take on top-seeded Nevada tomorrow. The Falcons’ season ends with the loss.
Brandon McCoy scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked three shots to lead the Rebels. Juiston Shakur added 21 points, Jovan Mooring 17 and Jordan Johnson 10 points and 12 assists to lead UNLV.
The Rebels shot 49.2 percent from the field, including 41.2 from three, and out-rebounded Air Force, 41-31, on their way to a 20th win this season. UNLV used an 11-2 run to open the second half to take a 48-35 lead with 14:57 to play. Air Force battled back and tied it four times, the last on a hoop and foul shot by Frank Toohey with 25 seconds left. UNLV’s last shot to win it missed.
Air Force took its only lead of the game, 79-76, with a three-point play by Trevor Lyons to open the overtime period. UNLV took the look for good with a hoop and foul shot by Juiston with 3:19 to play and extended the lead to as many as 10 points in the extra session.
Lavelle Scottie scored 23 points and grabbed a career-best nine rebounds to lead the Falcons. Jacob Van added 20 points, Caleb Morris a career-high 17 and Frank Toohey 11. Trevor Lyons scored five points and had a team-best assists.
The Falcons shot 46.4 percent from the field, including a 48.1 clip from three on 13-of-27 shooting. Air Force had 22 assists on 32 made field goals and recorded nine steals.
Air Force ends the season 12-19 overall. UNLV improves to 20-12 overall.