Undefeated San Diego State Loses in Stunning 66-63 Upset to Unranked UNLV

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 23, 2020

UNLV guard Amauri Hardy (3) shoots over San Diego State forward Nolan Narain (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Denis Poroy/Associated Press

The last unbeaten team in Division I men's basketball fell Saturday as UNLV beat No. 4 San Diego State 66-63 in San Diego's Viejas Arena.

The Aztecs entered the game with a perfect 26-0 record and 15-0 mark in Mountain West Conference play, but San Diego State shot just 38.9 percent from the field (8-of-27 from three-point range) en route to its first loss of the year.

Elijah Mitrou-Long led the Runnin' Rebels with 19 points off the bench, and Amauri Hardy added 17. Bryce Hamilton added an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Malachi Flynn paced the Aztecs with 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Matt Mitchell scored 13 points, and Jordan Schakel added 10 points and nine boards.

UNLV and San Diego State were tied at 11 early in the first half, but the Runnin' Rebels unleashed a 26-14 run to take a 37-25 lead into halftime.

Mitrou-Long, a graduate transfer from Texas, scored 11 points during that stretch, including a four-point play. He capped the half's scoring with this steal-and-score:

UNLV opened a 14-point lead in the second half, but San Diego State chipped away at the lead and found itself down 58-51 following a KJ Feagin three-pointer.

SDSU played great defense on the other end, but Mitrou-Long worked some magic and hit a running jumper as the shot clock expired to give UNLV a nine-point edge:

However, Flynn scored eight points and dished an assist in a 12-4 run to pare UNLV's edge down to 64-63 with 17 seconds remaining. He hit a step-back three and found Aguek Arop for an easy two during that stretch:

Mitrou-Long responded with two free throws, leading to SDSU having a chance to tie the game. However, a deep Flynn three was off the mark.

SDSU still had a chance for the win after Mitchell intercepted a deep inbounds pass in SDSU's half of the court, but his half-court heave at the buzzer did not connect.

UNLV moved to 15-14 overall and 10-6 in conference, good enough for a three-way tie for fourth. SDSU is 26-1 overall and 15-1 in-conference.

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