Lahaina, Hawaii — UNLV answered every run by Indiana, and the Runnin’ Rebels were able to hang through the frantic final seconds for a 72-69 victory over the 13th-ranked Hoosiers in the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.
The game had the intensity of a February conference matchup and just enough mistakes to make sure it was November.
“One of the reasons we came to Maui, other than it was exciting for our fans, was to play against the best,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “See how we match up. See where we’re good. See where our deficiencies are, and now we’ll have all next week to practice.”
Patrick McCaw had 20 points for UNLV (5-1), which bounced back from its opening loss to UCLA with wins over Chaminade and Indiana (4-2), which leaves Hawaii with just one win in three games.
“This is a test,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “The eight teams walking out of here, no matter what, in three days are getting tested. All right? Even if the champion tonight blows through it, whoever the champion is, they’re still getting tested because you’re playing three games in three days against very high-level competition.”
Indiana trailed by 15 points in the first half and turned on some solid defense to get back in the game. The Hoosiers closed to 55-53 with 8:20 to play. The Runnin’ Rebels then went on a 12-1 spurt, with McCaw scoring seven of the points, including a run-closing 3.
“Coming in, we knew since Indiana is a great offensive team, we really had to lock down and play defense,” Ike Nwamu said. “It was really paramount for us to execute defensively.”
The Hoosiers weren’t done. They got within three points twice in the final 30 seconds. The first time was on a dunk by Thomas Bryant off a tremendous pass from a flying Yogi Ferrell. UNLV’s Jerome Seagears made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 13 seconds left to make it 72-67.
Max Bielfeldt’s drive for Indiana with 7.5 seconds remaining provided the final margin, but the game was far from over.
Nwamu missed two free throws with 7.1 seconds left, and Indiana gave the ball back to UNLV on a 5-second count on the inbounds. UNLV then threw the ball away on an inbounds pass. Nick Zeisloft’s 3-point attempt was partially blocked by Ben Carter, and Nwamu was fouled on the rebound. He missed both free throws with 0.8 seconds left, but all Indiana could get off was a heave that was well short.
“I knew my man set the screen. I knew they were looking for a 3,” Carter said of the blocked shot. “I saw Pat was trailing his man a little bit, so I knew I had to help. Luckily I was able to get the tip on the ball and it was a pivotal play.”
Crean said he wouldn’t change the play.
“That was excellent. They made an athletic play. But he did a good job taking the shot,” Crean said.
Carter and Nwamu had 16 points apiece for UNLV, and Seagears added 12.
“These kind of games, it’s so much about momentum,” Rice said. “It’s about a big stop here, a big basket here. We always focus on what happens at the end of the game. And that’s obviously critically important. … It’s an entire game. That’s why we focus on it’s every play throughout the course of 40 minutes.”
Zeisloft led the Hoosiers, who lost to Wake Forest in the final seconds in their opener, with 17 points, and James Blackmon Jr. had 13. Indiana had 21 turnovers that led to 22 points for the Runnin’ Rebels.
“We got ourselves in a hole at the beginning with our turnovers, and you’re not going to beat any type of team, let alone one as talented as UNLV, when you’re giving them 22 points,” Crean said. “It’s unacceptable with the guys that have the ball in their hands for us to be giving the ball that way, and we’ve got to get that fixed. We really do, or we’ve got to fix the lineup.”
More Big Ten men
No. 2 Maryland 86, Rhode Island 63: At Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, Melo Trimble scored 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting. Trimble, who was named tournament MVP, also went 3 for 3 at the line and grabbed six rebounds. Rasheed Sulaimon also scored 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting, and Robert Carter had 15.
After playing three straight games that required a second-half comeback to get the victory, Maryland (5-0) was in control throughout against the Rams (3-2). Trimble hit a long jump shot at the first-half buzzer to make it 44-28, and Rhode Island struggled to keep up the rest of the night.
(At) Wisconsin 85, Prairie View 67: Bronson Koenig scored 16 to lead six players in double figures for the Badgers.
Zak Showalter scored 14 points for the Badgers (4-2), Ethan Happ and Charlie Thomas added 12 apiece, Vitto Brown 11 and Nigel Hayes 10.
Tevin Bellinger led the Panthers (0-5) with 21 points.
Top 25 men
No. 5 Kansas 70, No. 19 Vanderbilt 63: At Lahaina, Hawaii, Wayne Selden Jr. scored 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting, and No. 5 Kansas won the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The Jayhawks (4-1) did what no other team in the field could do, take a lead over the Commodores (5-1). It didn’t happen until the second half but when they got it they extended it to as many as 13 points.
Kansas trailed by 10 points midway through the first half and the Jayhawks were able to cut the lead to 30-26 at halftime.
They took control with their offense, shooting 62.5 percent (15 of 24) in the second half.
(At) No. 6 Duke 80, Yale 61: Freshman Brandon Ingram scored 15 and played a key role in the defensive switch that helped Duke beat Yale.
Matt Jones had 17 points and Grayson Allen scored 15 for the Blue Devils (5-1), while Ingram sparked Duke out of a lethargic start with his pressure as the front man after the switch to a 1-3-1 zone defense.
Freshman Luke Kennard finished with 12 points for the Blue Devils, who finally took control with a 17-2 run that spanned the halves.
Justin Sears scored 19 points and Makai Mason had 13 points for the Bulldogs (3-2).
No. 10 Gonzaga 80, Washington 64: Kyle Wiltjer had 24 points and Domantas Sabonis added 17, sending Gonzaga past Washington in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The Bulldogs led by 17 at halftime and were ahead by 24 early in the second half.
Andrew Andrews and Dejounte Murray each had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies.
Gonzaga advances to a semifinal Thursday against Texas A&M.
(At) No. 12 Virginia 80, Lehigh 54: Malcolm Brogdon scored 23 points, Darius Thompson had 12, Marial Shayok had 11 and Anthony Gill scored 10 for the Cavaliers (5-1).
Tim Kempton and Kyle Leufroy each scored 14 for Lehigh (0-5).
(At) No. 21 Oregon 91, Arkansas State 68: Dwayne Benjamin scored 25, Chris Boucher had 17 points and a school-record nine blocks, and the Ducks (5-0) rolled.
Devin Carter led the Red Wolves (2-3) with 22 points.
No. 25 Texas A&M 84, Texas 73: Danuel House had 19 points, Anthony Collins scored 15 and the Aggies won their opening-round game in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Eric Davis, Jr. led the Longhorns with 19 points.
(At) Eastern Michigan 108, Marygrove College 64: James Thompson IV had 32 points with 13 rebounds and Eastern Michigan rolled over its NAIA opponent.
Thompson scored 27 in the first half and finished 13-of-14. Brandon Nazione and Willie Mangum added 17 points apiece for Eastern Michigan (3-2), which bounced back after losing 89-65 against Michigan State on Monday.
Ethan Alvano added 13 points and Tim Bond nine points with a career-high nine assists for the Eagles.
Isaac Gillum scored 18 points and Nate Taylor added 14 to lead Marygrove.
Milwaukee 84, Central Michigan 78: J.J. Panoske scored 18 on 6-of-9 shooting and Jordan Johnson added 17 points — including three free throws in the final 26 seconds — with nine assists to help Milwaukee hold off Central Michigan in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla.
Rayshawn Simmons (21 points, seven assists) scored seven consecutive points to cap an 11-2 run and pull the Chippewas (2-3) within four, 79-75, with 28 seconds left.
But Johnson hit a pair of free throws and, after Simmons missed a 3-pointer, Matt Tiby hit two more to put Milwaukee up eight with 11 seconds remaining.
Braylon Rayson added 17 points and Austin Stewart had 12 for Central.
Akeem Springs and Tiby scored 13 apiece and Cody Wichmann added 10 points for Milwaukee (5-3).
(At) No. 12 Kentucky 89, Eastern Michigan 67: Janay Morton scored a season-high 21 points and added nine rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Eagles, but it was not enough against the No. 11 Wildcats.
Cha Sweeny and Phillis Webb scored 15 and 10 points, respectively, for Eastern Michigan (2-1), which led 22-19 after 10 minutes and trailed just 37-35 at the half after forcing 13 turnovers.
But Kentucky (5-0) took off in the second half. Makayla Epps had 21 points, six rebounds and eight assists and Janee Thompson scored 16 with 10 assists.
Central Michigan 68, (at) Loyola-Illinois 59: Jewel Cotton had 19 points and 11 rebounds, Presley Hudson scored 15 and Da’Jourie Turner had 12 points and five assists for the Chippewas, who improved to 4-0.
Taylor Johnson scored 13 for Loyola-Illinois (1-3).
A Division III basketball team forfeited a conference game to protest the firing of its coach, dressing and warming up before collectively walking off the court as the game was about to begin.
William Paterson forefeited against Ramapo College in support of longtime coach Jose Rebimbas, who was in his 21st season, and said on Facebook that he was fired because of a misunderstanding over facility rental fees for a camp he runs.