Cal Loses a Heartbreaker to UNLV 76-75

Courtesy: Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The University of California Golden Bears (6 – 2) lost a heartbreaker to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (7 – 1) 76 – 75 on a last-second put-back by Quintrell Thomas at Haas Pavilion on Sunday.  UNLV had the lead for most of the game, but a late-game surge by Cal and two free throws by Justin Cobbs gave Cal a 75 – 74  lead with 11.9 seconds left.  With time running out, UNLV guard Anthony Marshall forced up a contested jumper a the top of the key which fell a couple feet short, the desired outcome for Cal’s defense.  Unfortunately for the Golden Bears, Thomas scooped up the air ball and banked in a short layup with 1.2 seconds remaining on the clock for the game-winner.

A desperation shot by Cobbs at halfcourt was blocked by UNLV guard Justin Hawkins as the horn sounded.

With UNLV wing Mike Moser out due to an arm injury early in the first half, the scoring load was placed on the willing, broad shoulders of freshman phenom Anthony Bennett, Bryce Dejean-Jones, and Anthony Marshall.  All three delivered with 25, 22, and 13 points, respectively.  Bennett also cleared the boards with 13 rebounds, while Thomas had six, with the last one by far the most important.  Marshall led UNLV with four assists, with Katin Reinhardt chipping in three, despite a rough shooting game (1-of-7) from the field.

Cal was led by Allen Crabbe’s 18 points, despite limited minutes due to early foul trouble, including a flagrant violation from an inadvertent elbow.  Richard Solomon had 14 points, Tyrone Wallace 13, Justin Cobbs 11, and David Kravish nine.  Solomon finished with eight rebounds, while Kravish had seven, and Crabbe five.  Cobbs led with seven assists, followed by Crabbe and Brandon Smith with three apiece.

Cal shot well from the floor (28-of-53 for 52.8%), including 4-of-9 for 44.4% from the 3-point line, but shot a poor 15-of-28 (53.6%) from the free throw line, which may have cost them the game.  The Golden Bears were also out-rebounded 38 to 30.

Ultimately, it was UNLV’s aggressiveness on the offensive boards–mostly by Bennett, and Cal’s lackluster free throw shooting which was the difference in the game.

Box Score

Cal seeks to end their two-game skid against Creighton December 15 at Haas Pavilion.  Tip off is 8 pm Pacific time.

Tags: Allen Crabbe Anthony Bennett Anthony Marshall Brandon Smith Bryce Dejean-Jones Cal Cal Bears California Bears Basketball California Golden Bears Basketball College Basketball David Kravish Haas Pavilion Justin Cobbs Justin Hawkins Katin Reinhardt Mike Moser NCAA Quintrell Thomas Richard Solomon Tyrone Wallace University Of California Golden Bears UNLV Runnin' Rebels

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