Fresno State junior forward Karachi Edo dunks between a pair of UNLV defenders during Saturday’s double-overtime, 111-104 conference win over the Rebels. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)
After Fresno State was in the driver’s seat for much of the game, UNLV came storming back late in the final period to take Saturday’s conference showdown into overtime.
Regulation couldn’t decide a winner and neither could the first overtime period, so the teams took things into a second overtime, where this time the ‘Dogs pulled away for the 111-104 victory.
“We came out with a lot of positive energy to start the ballgame,” head coach Rodney Terry said. “I thought we also had a lot of energy in practice yesterday and last night in our team meeting, and I thought a lot of that carried over to the floor today from the bench to the guys on the floor.”
Fresno State (15-8, 6-4) led by as much as 17 midway through the second half before the Rebels made their run. UNLV (13-11, 4-7) tied the game at 84 with 2:33 to go and from then on it was a physical battle to the end.
The ‘Dogs struggled to make shots in the first overtime period as they didn’t get on the board until more than halfway into the period but senior guard Julien Lewis came through as he connected a pair of jumpers to keep his team alive.
“I just did what I always practice,” Lewis said. “The defense gave me the chance to come on the screen, hit a big range jumper so I took the jumper. My teammates always keep me confident and comfortable within the offense. They tell me to take that mid right shot so I just did what I do in practice everyday.”
Lewis also came through in the second overtime period as he sunk another jumper, which gave his team some momentum to start the period, and ignited a 19-12 Bulldog run to close out the game.
“[UNLV] made some shots – you have to give them a lot of credit,” Terry said. “They came down and they got on fire. We hit a spell where we weren’t making shots and that happens in the flow of a game. But we turned the curve in terms of grit – we showed a lot of grit down the stretch and really finished out the game.”
Senior guard Marvelle Harris had a game-high 37 points that vaulted him past Wil Hooker for second place on Fresno State’s all time scoring list. However, Harris, who has now scored 1,753 career points, says he doesn’t think about personal accomplishments.
“It’s all about the team and winning games,” Harris said. “Those are great individual accomplishments but we want to focus on winning.”
Other Bulldogs in double figures include Lewis (18), junior forward Cullen Russo (17) and sophomore center Terrell Carter (14).
With this win, the Bulldogs have clinched the season sweep of the Rebels.
A Save Mart Center crowd of 7,754 was onboard to witness the intense, double-overtime Mountain West clash between the Bulldogs and Rebels.
Saturday also featured the “Night in Navy” promotion in which the Bulldogs sported their navy-colored uniforms and Heroes Night, in which all firemen, police officers, paramedics, veterans and active military were given free admission.
“I thought our crowd was tremendous today,” Terry said. “That sixth man gave us unbelievable energy. We play in a lot of venues in this league and we’re making the Save Mart [Center] a hard place to play. Again with the crowd we had today – they were really, really big for us.”