UNLV’s shooting struggles prove costly in loss to Boise St.

Erik Verduzco / Las Vegas Review-Journal

UNLV faced the fifth-seeded Broncos (20-11) without one of their key players from their 6-1 finish coming into the tournament. Guard Elijah Mitrou-Long played a large part in the late-season run, and his on-court absence was noticeable. Without him, UNLV only made 31.6 percent of its shots and missed 10 of 26 free throws. But the Rebels never had an answer for Boise State’s RJ Williams, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds.

The Broncos led for almost 36 minutes in the game and by as many as 11 points before the Rebels twice cut the margin to two in the final 2:20. The Rebels never made up the entire deficit, losing 67-61 in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center. Fourth-seeded UNLV’s five-game winning streak ended as did its season at 17-15.