LAS VEGAS (AP) — In his 128th game with UNLV, Anthony Marshall finally hit a game-winning shot.
After taking time off the clock in the waning moments, the senior guard drilled a short jumper just inside the free-throw line with 7 seconds left that lifted UNLV to a 61-59 victory over No. 22 Colorado State on Wednesday night.
"We just wanted to get the last shot, Khem (Birch) did a terrific job of setting me a screen," said Marshall, who attended Mojave High School in North Las Vegas. "I just got my legs under me and tried to follow through all the way. (And) that last one just fell through for me."
Bryce Dejean-Jones and Katin Reinhardt had 15 points each for the Runnin' Rebels (20-7, 7-5 Mountain West), and Marshall finished with 11.
Colton Iverson scored 16 points to lead Colorado State (21-5, 8-3), which outscored UNLV 19-8 over the first 6:45 of the second half to tie the score at 40-all.
The Rebels pulled ahead by seven on Savon Goodman's layup at the 9:08 mark, but the Rams charged back with a 13-4 run to take a 55-53 lead with 3:18 remaining.
After trading baskets several times, and with the score tied at 59, Marshall grabbed a defensive rebound after Dorian Green's 3-point attempt missed with 39 seconds left to play, and that's when he executed UNLV's final play.
The Rebels, who came in after rallying for a 72-70 home win over San Diego State on Saturday, were paced by Dejean-Jones and Reinhardt in the first half as the two led a 3-point barrage that saw UNLV hit 6 of 14 from beyond the arc. Dejean-Jones was a perfect 3 for 3 while Reinhardt hit 2 of 5.
UNLV also did a good job of contesting most of Colorado State's shots in the first 20 minutes, while getting good help on the boards from everyone. A 10-2 spurt put the Rebels up 22-12 with 7:00 left in the first half.
"It was a team win for us," said UNLV coach Dave Rice, who became the winningest coach over his first two seasons in program history when the Rebels beat the Aztecs on Saturday. "I thought our defense in the first half was as good a half as we've played defensively all season long."
The Rams — who came in shooting 45 percent from the field this season, and 34 percent from 3-point range — were a dismal 8 of 26 (31 percent) from the field in the first half, including 1 of 9 on 3s.
"To Colorado State's credit," Rice added. "They came out in the second half with a sense of urgency. We lost our confidence a little bit on the defensive end because we were having a hard time making shots."
The Rams outscored the Rebels in the second half, 38-29, behind 47-percent shooting (14 of 30) — one of the misses being Daniel Bejarano's 3-point attempt at the buzzer that fell short.
"We talk about tenacity and perseverance all the time and we played until the end and we were fortunate to make one more play than Colorado State did and get a very hard-fought victory," said Rice, who has led UNLV to 45 wins since the start of the 2011-12 season, surpassing Jerry Tarkanian's mark of 44 victories in his first two years at the helm.
Colorado State, which eked out an 89-86 win on Saturday at Air Force, snapped a six-game win streak. Also with the loss, the Rams are now 5-5 in true road games this season, including 3-2 in conference play.
"We got beat by a gutsy team," said Rams coach Larry Eustachy, who is in his first season at CSU and 22nd overall as a collegiate head coach. "They were ready for us. We had a chance to win at the end, but a tougher team won."
UNLV is now 15-1 on Tarkanian Court this season, which includes 13 straight wins. In addition, UNLV is 33-1 in its last 34 regular-season games at home, and has won each of its last 15 regular season home games against Mountain West opponents.
The teams split the season series, as Colorado State defeated UNLV 66-61 at home on Jan. 19. The Runnin' Rebels lead the all-time series 34-11 and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings at the Thomas & Mack Center.