Late rally helps Nevada beat Virginia Commonwealth
RENO, Nev. (AP)—Luke Babbitt’s free throw with 1.8 seconds left helped Nevada beat Virginia Commonwealth 71-70 in an ESPNU BracketBuster game on Friday.
VCU’s Joey Rodriguez hit a 75-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the Rams couldn’t overcome the Wolf Packs late rally from 9 points down with 6 minutes to play.
Babbitt and Brandon Fields had 15 points each to lead Nevada (16-10). Malik Cooke and Armon Johnson had 13 each.
Eric Maynor had 28 points for VCU (19-9), which led by as many as 10 points in the second half. Nevada cut the lead to 6 with 9:27 left, but Wolf Pack coach Mark Fox was hit with a pair of technical fouls and ejected with 8:20 to play.
Maynor’s two free throws after the second technical made it 60-51. The Rams led 62-53 with 6 minutes left.
Johnson sparked an 18-5 Nevada rally with a three-point play with 5:01 to play and gave the Wolf Pack its first lead of the half at 68-67 with 28.6 seconds left.
Joey Shaw, who finished with 11 points for Nevada, hit a pair of free throws to make it 70-67 with 13.7 seconds left. Maynor missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and Babbitt was fouled after getting the rebound with 1.8 left.
He missed the first of two free throws, but hit the second to give Nevada a 4-point lead. Rodriguez was just across the opposite free-throw line when he threw in the rainbow at the buzzer for the final margin.
VCU led 32-28 at halftime.