Miners fall short of comeback against No. 20 UNLV
UTEP's Tucker misses 3-point shot at the buzzer, lose 62-60
Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
Unable to keep up with the intensity brought on by the Runnin’ Rebels of the University of Las Vegas, the Miners experienced their first loss at home this season Dec. 17 at the Don Haskins Center.
The 20th nationally ranked Rebels beat UTEP 62-60, securing their seventh-straight victory. The loss puts the Miners at 3-5 overall.
"The game was lost in the first half," UTEP head coach Tim Floyd said. "We played really foolish offensively, turning the ball over, and not moving our feet. As a result we started standing, and were out scored twenty two points.”
UTEP's largest lead of 5 points put up in the first five minutes of the game, gave the Miners early hope, but the success was short lived once the Rebels found an offensive rhythm.
UNLV got plenty of production from four of their players, as Anthony Bennet, Anthony Marshall, Katin Reinhardt and Bryce Dejean-Jones all put up double digits on the board, a productive offense that exhausted the Miners, as they played catch up for the remainder of the game.
The Rebels scored 31 points in the first half, taking an 8-point lead into intermission. The Miners never regained the lead, despite outscoring the Rebels 38-31 in the second half.
With the clock winding down, the Miners came close to tying the game, as a change of defense from box to man-to-man gave UTEP the opportunity to come within a shot for a win. Cutting the 15-point lead held by the Rebels, down to two.
"They (UTEP) certainly started shooting better, but we lost our focus in the second half, on the defensive end," UNLV head coach Dave Rice said. "I was actually pleased with us in the offensive end in the second half, but we lost our concentration and again the numbers bear that out."
With 16 seconds left on the clock, the Rebels missed two foul shots giving the Miners possession of the ball.
Needing two points to tie the Rebels and send the game into overtime, UTEP used a time out to set up a play for graduate guard, Konner Tucker.
This was Tucker's first game back from a sprained wrist that put him on the bench since the exhibition game back in early November.
Despite being successful at completing the play, the Miners fell short as Tucker missed the shot as the ball bounced off the back of the rim.
"I obviously wanted the shot to go in," Tucker said. "It felt good. It looked good, but I just could not take it home, and it is really disappointing to say the least."
Oregon will be the Miners next chance at a victory, as they match up to play Dec. 19 in the Don Haskins Center—the second of UTEP's four-game stretch in seven days.
Audrey Westcott may be reached at email@example.com.