Colorado State's quest for an historic season stalled temporarily Wednesday night at UNLV where the Runnin Rebels became the first opponent all season to outrebound the Rams and Anthony Marshall hit a clutch jumper with 7 seconds left to give UNLV a 61-59 victory
The 22nd ranked Rams brought a six-game winning streak into the game, their longest win streak in conference play since winning nine straight in 1988-89 when they were a part of the Western Athletic Conference. But after overcoming a large deficit to take the lead late, CSU was victimized by a bad call when officials gave the ball to UNLV on an out-of-bounds call in the final minute when it should have belonged to Rams who held a two-point advantage at the time. The call helped the Rebels to tie the game ahead of Marshall's game winner.
CSU will play host to No. 16 New Mexico on Saturday. The Rams now trail the Lobos by a full game in the Mountain West standings and must win to move into a tie.
If the teams remain tied at the top of the standings at the end of the regular season, tiebreakers would decide the regular season champ of the league with the first tiebreaker being how each team fared against the next team in the standings, moving down the list until the tie is broken. Both teams have split the series with UNLV.
But a regular season conference championship isn't the only history within reach for the Rams. They are just two wins shy of tying the school record for wins in one season at 21-5 overall and 8-3 in conference play. The 1988-89 team won 23 games.
Guard Daniel Bejarano had an opportunity to push the Rams one win closer to setting a new record when he got an uncontested open look at a game-winning 3-pointer in the final second, but he missed the shot long. UNLV has now won 14 consecutive games on its home court and 34 of the past 36.
CSU also has an impressive home-court winning streak that has swelled to 27 straight now. Handling the Moby Arena crowd Saturday will be one of the biggest challenges for New Mexico.