Feb 212005
Authors: Paul Baker

The Rams let another win slip through their fingers, as the Rebels of UNLV came into Moby and stole one from CSU 81-79.

The Rebels got hot in the second half as they shot 64 percent from the field, as opposed to the first half when they shot a dismal 28 percent.

"It was tough, they got hot at the right time," said junior guard Micheal Morris. "We couldn't stop guys like Odartey (Blankson) and (Romel) Beck.

The Rams tied the score at 64 with six minutes left in the game, but could not pull ahead. UNLV ballooned the lead back up to seven and smothered any chance of a Rams comeback. A late 3-pointer by freshman Sean Morris pulled the Rams within three, but it didn't make a difference.

"It was an extremely hard fought game, and it came down to one possession," said head coach Dale Layer. "Blankson was incredible tonight, he had answers for everything we threw at him."

The Rams started off the first half like they ended the last one against San Diego State. They opened the game with a 13-5 run during the first five minutes.

Freshman Jason Smith had the first six points of the game for the Rams as they controlled the beginning of the game. They passed and moved the ball as well as they have all season. Matt Nelson paced the Rams through the first half with 13 points.

With the Rams leading 22-9, and 11 minutes to play, the Rebels put a 7-2 run together that put them back into the game.

With the score in favor of the Rams at halftime 37-31, it was the first time that the Rams have lead a game at halftime since Jan. 19, when they played Wyoming in Laramie.

Senior Odartey Blankson led the Rebels with 31 points and 12 rebounds, recording his 10th double-double of the season.

"He definitely knows how to play basketball," Smith said. "He has one move and we couldn't stop that one move tonight."

A big momentum swing in the game was when senior Matt Williams fouled out with only two minutes to play.

"It's tough (watching from the bench), I want to be in at the end of the game," Williams said. "They were driving the ball hard all night and getting us into foul trouble."

The Rams now have a week off to prepare for the second installment of the Border War against Wyoming, set for Saturday at Moby Arena at 7 p.m.

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