HONOLULU (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV men’s basketball team (6-5) fought back to cut its deficit to just one point with about a minute to play, but Indiana State (8-3) held on to advance to the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Championship game with an 84-79 win over the Runnin’ Rebels Sunday at Stan Sheriff Center.
Sophomore guard Amauri Hardy led UNLV in scoring with 22 points. He was 7 of 11 from the field, made 2 of 3 3-pointers and was a perfect 6 of 6 from the free-throw line. Freshman forward Joel Ntambwe recorded his third straight double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while senior guard Kris Clyburn added 15 points.
Jordan Barnes led the Sycamores in scoring with 28 points on 11 of 15 shooting.
STATS OF THE GAME: Indiana State scored 44 points in the paint and shot 50.9 percent from the field for the game (29 of 57).
COLD START: UNLV started the game just 1 of 12 from the field and trailed 12-3 seven minutes into the contest. However, the Runnin’ Rebels clawed their way back into it, cutting the Sycamore lead to just two at 28-26 with three minutes to go in the first half. UNLV trailed 35-28 at halftime.
ANOTHER COMEBACK: The Runnin’ Rebels’ largest deficit came about five minutes into the second half as they trailed by 12 (49-37). UNLV used a 16-8 run to cut the Indiana State lead to one (78-77) late but couldn’t get over the hump.
– There were a total of 49 fouls called in the game and a combined 59 free-throw attempts.
– Indiana State improved to 3-0 all-time vs UNLV. The previous two meetings were in 1968 and 1970.
– UNLV is now 3-2 all-time in the Diamond Head Classic. The Runnin’ Rebels advanced to the championship game in their only other appearance in 2009, falling to USC.
– The loss snapped a two-game win streak for UNLV (vs. BYU and at Hawaii).
– UNLV has out-rebounded its opponent in all 11 of its games this season, including 40-34 against Indiana State.
– UNLV never led in the game. It was tied for 1:05.
– UNLV shot just 36.9 percent for the game (24 of 65).
– UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,050 straight games.
NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will face either Bucknell or TCU in the third place game of the DHC on Tuesday, Dec 25 at 3:30 p.m. PT (TV: ESPNU, Radio: ESPN 1100 AM).