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Video Credit: UNLV Athletics

FSM Recap: UNLV vs St. Mary’s – Game 9- 2023

Franchise Sports Media

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (4-5) | St. Mary’s Gaels (6-5)

 

The Jerry Colangelo Classic at the Footprint Center had UNLV vs St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon. The Runnin’ Rebels lost on a buzzer-beater in double overtime 69-67 despite a career game from DJ Thomas Jr.

UNLV vs St. Mary’s took place on Saturday.

UNLV vs St. Mary's | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: SMC Athletics

In what was unquestionably Kevin Kruger’s most significant win as the head coach of UNLV on Wednesday, the Runnin’ Rebels defeated the then #8 ranked Creighton Bluejays. Many hoped to see another step in the right direction for UNLV. On Saturday, though, the Runnin’ Rebels took on a St. Mary’s team in the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix, Arizona, and came away with a double-overtime loss.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, with Saint Mary’s shooting 21.2% from the field (7 of 33), including 0 for eight on 3-pointers, while UNLV managed just 3 of 24 (12.5%), including 0 for four on 3-pointers. Both teams finished in the low 30s in field-goal percentage for the game.

Saint Mary’s entered the game at No. 8 in the country in scoring defense and in the top 25 in blocks per game, rebound margin, and offensive rebounds per game. The Gaels attempted 25 more shots on the night than the Runnin’ Rebels did (79-54).

We didn’t quite have that same bounce to us early, but that’s what (the Gaels) do,” Kruger told reporters after the game. “That’s what they do to a lot of people.”

Shane Nowell returned from injury to play in his first game this season, logging just two minutes. DJ Thomas Jr. scored a career-high 24 points for the Runnin’ Rebels, while Luis Rodriguez and Justin Webster each had 16.

UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in an NCAA-record 1,202 straight games.

UNLV vs St. Mary’s at Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams.

UNLV vs St. Mary’s First Half:

It was the start of the UNLV vs St. Mary’s first half. 

 

UNLV vs St. Mary's | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

UNLV got off to a slow start to open the game. In fact, they didn’t score their first points until the 17:11 mark when the Runnin’ Rebels Isaiah Cottrell hit a jump shot to get the scoring started for both teams.

But UNLV wasn’t the only one struggling to score points. St. Mary’s also had their issues as well. The score was 8–7 halfway through the first half. It wasn’t the best basketball to watch, as both teams struggled. 

But freshman phenom DJ Thomas Jr. started a heat-up for UNLV. That wasn’t enough as St. Mary’s went on a run that saw them score six unanswered points to make the score 17–11, with just over three minutes to go in the first half.

The score at the end of the first half was 20–14 St. Mary’s, and UNLV went to the locker room looking for some answers.

It was the end of the UNLV vs St. Mary’s first half. 

UNLV vs St. Mary’s 2nd Half & OTs:

It was the start of the UNLV vs St. Mary’s second half. 

UNLV vs St. Mary's | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

UNLV started the second half with a 4-0 run to cut St. Mary’s lead to a single point. But the game remained slow and cumbersome to watch.

St. Mary’s had a three-pointer to bring their lead back up to six, 30–24, but Runnin’ Rebel Karl Jones pulled down a rebound and slammed it home to cut the lead to four. At one point in the second half, St. Mary’s had a 40–29 lead over UNLV. Luis Rodriguez’s three-pointer cut the deficit to eight with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation.

Rodriguez, Keylan Boone, Thomas, and Justin Webster spearheaded the UNLV comeback to tie the game with nine seconds remaining and regulation. St. Mary’s turned the ball over as the clock expired, and we headed into overtime.

UNLV jumped out to a 55–50 lead after two free throws made by Thomas. But St. Mary’s came back and tied the game up with just over a minute remaining in the first overtime. Once again, St. Mary’s had the ball as time was winding down but missed a three-pointer, so we headed to a second overtime.

UNLV, once again, got off to a fast start, taking a two-point lead after Thomas rebounded a three-point attempt by St. Mary’s and hit a jumper of his own to give the Runnin’ Rebels a 61–59 lead.

Both teams picked up the pace offensively and scored on the next few possessions, but UNLV held a one-point lead after Thomas made two free-throw attempts, making the score 67–64. Those would be the last points UNLV would score at St. Mary’s, tied the ball game up with 36 seconds left.

After Thomas missed a jumper with eight seconds remaining, Mitchell Saxon made a layup as time expired to give St. Mary’s the 69–67 win.

UNLV vs St. Mary’s at Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas Sports news today from Las Vegas sports teams.

UNLV will return home to the Thomas & Mack Center for the first time in 23 days to host Hofstra on Thursday, December 21st, at 7:00 pm PST. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @joearrigofsm

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